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   Cruise Travel - Cruise News

Cruise Club is a free service, and when you join, you will begin receiving weekly updates including the latest cruise news and cruise specialsWelcome to this week's edition of Cruise News, the best place on the Web to find up-to-date information about cruises. To automatically receive Cruise News via email each week, join our Cruise Club.

For up to the minute news, stop by Cruise Talk anytime to post a message or find out what your fellow passengers and industry insiders are saying about a particular ship, cruise line or destination.


Cruise News - March 1, 2021

Royal Caribbean Says “Shalom, Israel” with Odyssey of the Seas Debut
Israeli holidaymakers will set a new course for adventure this summer when Royal Caribbean International begins sailing from Israel for the first time in May. The global cruise line will offer Israelis a combination of 3- to 7-night escapes visiting the Greek Isles and Cyprus on board its highly anticipated, brand-new ship, Odyssey of the Seas. The new sailings will go on sale on Tuesday, March 9.

The itineraries, roundtrip from Haifa, Israel, will include visits to idyllic isles and destinations in the Mediterranean, including Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece and Limassol, Cyprus.

“We are thrilled to debut Royal Caribbean cruises from Israel with our newest and most innovative ship, Odyssey of the Seas. Israeli travelers will be looking to get away, relax with total peace of mind, and enjoy the travel experiences they are missing dearly; and that is what we do best,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Sailing from Israel is an opportunity we have had our sights on for quite some time. We greatly appreciate the government of Israel for their collaboration and confidence in us to deliver memorable cruise experiences to their residents, and look forward to delivering on that promise aboard our newest ship – the first ‘Green Island’ at sea.”

Residents of Israel will be the first guests to cruise on Odyssey during its inaugural season. The innovative ship is designed to make for a memorable holiday for every kind of traveler, with a variety of new and signature experiences from bow to stern. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea, highlights on board include a two-level pool deck designed for downtime under the sun and stars, SeaPlex – the two-level indoor and outdoor activity complex that is a high-adrenaline playground for all ages, and a lineup of complimentary and specialty restaurants primed to please every palate with cuisine from around the world. And entertainment throughout the ship will be punctuated by high-tech signature productions in the Royal Theater and Two70, where art and multimedia merge for jaw-dropping performances found only on Odyssey.

“Thanks to the millions of vaccines we have brought, I am proud that Israel will be the first country in the world to launch Royal Caribbean’s new flagship. Royal Caribbean's decision to come to Israel is a significant expression of confidence in our policy. This is an important economic, touristic moment for the State of Israel,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Israel is a global model of success. We will continue our program – the ‘green passport’ – so that we can get out of the COVID-19 virus in peace. Just as we made Israel the world champion in vaccines, we will make it the world champion in economics and tourism in the post-Corona era.”

In conjunction with Israel’s health and tourism authorities, Royal Caribbean will be the first to offer fully vaccinated sailings, where both crew and guests above the age of 16 will be vaccinated against COVID-19. Details on the additional health and safety measures to be implemented by Israel and Royal Caribbean will be announced at a later date.

The Greek Minister of Tourism, Mr. Haris Theoharis, supports all the efforts for the resumption of cruising in Greece and the surrounding area. He said, “We are very happy with today’s announcement as our recent travel agreement with Israel is already bringing results, and more people will have the opportunity to have unique experiences in our beautiful destinations and islands.”

Savvas Perdios, the Deputy Minister of Tourism for Cyprus commented, “It is an honor to be featured in Royal Caribbean’s itinerary this summer, and we are delighted to welcome their newest ship to our island. Cyprus supports the cruise industry and is pleased to help the industry on its road to recovery. We are certain that guests will have a great time, both on board the ship and when visiting Cyprus, one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean.”

P&O Cruises to Offer "The Ultimate Escape" Staycation this Summer
P&O Cruises will offer a series of short break and week-long UK cruises as "the ultimate escape" staycation this summer. The cruises will go on sale later in March.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: "Following recent Government announcements and as the vaccine programme is rolled out across the globe we can all begin to feel a sense of reassurance and hope that this current lockdown period in the UK will come to an end. Life can, we hope, slowly return to some semblance of our previous normality as hospitality opens up and summer holidays can be booked with confidence.

"Whilst holidays here in the UK will be the first to become a reality we will, of course, gradually see the return of international travel but first we want guests to be able to enjoy a proper summer holiday at sea with the best in relaxation, entertainment and dining choice.

"These sailings will leave from our home port in Southampton and sail around UK coastal waters enjoying the summer sunshine. More details of dates, prices and the experience on board will be announced later this month, but they will, of course, all have flexibility so guests can book with confidence.

"We hope that the UK "ultimate escape" staycation option will have wide appeal and we will do our utmost to make it a very special time. There really will be something for everyone and the opportunity to spend precious and much-longed for time with family and friends.

"In order to offer these UK breaks it does mean that unfortunately we need to cancel some of our current published programme of holidays this summer. Cruises on Arcadia, Aurora, Azura and Ventura have been cancelled until the end of August and on Britannia and Iona until the end of September.

"We remain in very close contact with the UK Government and associated bodies as we monitor the latest situation and guidance on travel. From the moment we see travel restrictions lifting we will begin the significant logistical task to re-start our operations. It will take some time for the first ship to return to service, followed by the phased return of the remaining fleet. We cannot wait to welcome everyone back on board with the protection of effective protocols to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all crew and guests.

"I really am so sorry for the disappointment these cancellations will cause but hope that the new UK cruises will enable everyone to enjoy a wonderful holiday this summer."

All guests whose cruises have been cancelled will automatically receive a Future Cruise Credit worth 125% of what they paid. This 125% Future Cruise Credit can be redeemed against any new booking made by the end of December 2021, on any cruise on sale at the time of booking.

Alternatively, 100% refund is available through the form on www.pocruises.com and may be requested until December 2021.

Odyssey Of The Seas Reaches Key Construction Milestone
Odyssey of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International's brand-new ship under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, has completed its 10-plus-hour, 20-mile (32-kilometer) conveyance. The conveyance is a process unique to ships built at Meyer Werft, as the shipyard is situated inland along the Ems River, and the ship must make the journey backward and down the river to get to the North Sea.

Straight from Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, here is a sneak peek at how construction is moving along for Royal Caribbean’s new, highly anticipated ship, Odyssey of the Seas. The innovative Quantum Ultra Class ship will tout a showstopping lineup of guest favorites and brand new experiences for vacationers of all ages, including the Sky Pad virtual reality and bungee trampoline adventure, the North Star glass observation capsule, Ripcord by iFly skydiving and FlowRider surf simulators, The Lime & Coconut and the new Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar.

A sight to behold, maneuvering a 169,000-gross-ton ship that measures 1,138 feet (347 meters) long and 135 feet (41 meters) wide is no mean feat. The milestone naturally draws local residents to the riverbanks to marvel at this impressive technical and operational moment.

Boasting all-new and first-to-brand experiences, Odyssey will raise the bar when it comes to all aspects of the cruise experience. The innovative Quantum Ultra Class ship's combination of iconic Quantum Class favorites and new-to-class features include:

• SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity center at sea that will now offer guests an indoor and outdoor activity complex. Think sports courts, bumper cars, laser tag, digital interactive games, jumbo screens, a DJ booth and more; this is the ultimate, high-adrenaline playground for all ages. The two-level venue will also be home to the first-in-class Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, where guests can catch their team on dozens of screens and enjoy a menu of game-day favorites and icy-cold drafts on tap.

• Odyssey's pool deck is a vibrant oasis with additional uncovered pool space to optimize sun-soaked vacation experiences. Guests can lounge on the Caribbean-inspired pool deck, unwind in the four whirlpools or shady hammocks and casitas on decks 14 and 15, and cool off with freshly made cocktails at the two-level signature bar, The Lime & Coconut.

• Dedicated spaces for kids and teens have been amplified with technology to offer interactive, personalized and unexpected experiences. Teens have access to their exclusive area, Social180, which also includes an outdoor wraparound deck, The Patio, to hang out with ocean views. With a gaming lounge, movies, music and outdoor games, 13- to 17-year-olds have everything they need and can socialize without kids and grownups cramping their style.

• Bringing guests a taste of Italy is Royal Caribbean's first Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar. From hand-tossed pizzas delivered straight from the pizza oven to a wine list that ranges from Sangiovese to Super Tuscan, travelers can enjoy traditional, rustic Italian dishes and fresh Mediterranean flavors.

• Hunger pangs will be alleviated with Odyssey's diverse range of dining options. Never before seen in North America is Teppanyaki, the restaurant serving authentic Asian flavors cooked in one of Japan's traditional styles. Travelers can also expect to find Royal Caribbean favorites, including sushi and sashimi at Izumi, hand-cut steaks at Chops Grille, the Chef's Table epicurean, intimate experience and imaginative cuisine at Wonderland.

• Whether it's surfing the waves on the signature FlowRider surf simulator or feeling the freedom of freefall on RipCord by iFly – the skydiving simulator – Odyssey will satisfy any adrenaline seeker. Not forgetting the 40-foot rock wall and gravity-defying SkyPad, the virtual reality and bungee trampoline experience that transports guests to another world. Those looking for unrivaled 360-degree views have the North Star glass observation capsule that extends 300 feet (91 meters) above the ocean.

• Guests can expect Royal Caribbean's signature productions and famed Quantum Class entertainment in teched-out venues, complete with immersive technology, unparalleled special effects and world-leading talent. Fusing art and technology, Two70 boasts 270-degree panoramic windows with sweeping ocean views in an expansive open-area living room, which transforms in plain sight into a 135-foot-wide (41 meters) and 22-foot-tall (6 meters) screen powered by Vistarama technology. At night, the iconic venue becomes a multidimensional theater, where a troupe of six agile Roboscreens come to life in sync with music, special effects and live performers and aerialists. Guests can then head to Music Hall for an ever-changing setlist of live performances and epic cover bands, but not before grabbing a drink served by robots at the Bionic Bar.

In a Royal Caribbean first, Odyssey will debut in Haifa, Israel this May. Residents of Israel will be the first to experience the ship on a mix of 3- to 7-night escapes visiting the Greek Isles and Cyprus, roundtrip from Haifa. Odyssey will then cross the Atlantic to begin its inaugural North American season in November, offering 6- to 8-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale and visiting far-flung destinations, including Curacao and Aruba.

Holland America Line Extends Cruise Pause to Include All Departures Sailing to or from a Canadian Port in 2021
As Holland America Line continues to review and assess its plans around the Canadian Transport Ministry's Interim Order that closed Canadian ports and waters to passenger vessels, the company is extending its pause of cruise operations to now include all sailings that depart from or conclude in a Canadian port in 2021. This will include several Alaska, three Canada/New England and two Pacific Coastal cruises in summer and fall of this year. It also includes all Land+Sea Journeys.

At this time, Alaska cruises departing from mid-May and sailing roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, are not being canceled. Discussions are underway with Canadian and United States government authorities to try to find a path forward to preserve these sailings. As more information is known, an announcement will be made. Guests on impacted Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys involving a Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, gateway may not move to roundtrip Seattle cruises at this time, as these departures are not open for sale pending further announcements.

"Holland America Line, in alliance with our entire industry, is optimistic for the resumption of cruising around North America and worldwide," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "However, we must be practical in our approach by acknowledging the limitations put in place by the current Canadian order that requires us to cancel select sailings. We thank our guests for their patience and understanding and know that they, like us, are eager to see cruising begin again soon."

Cruises impacted by this pause in operation are:

• Alaska: Cruises through September 2021 to Alaska from all departure ports aboard Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Zuiderdam. This also includes any Land+Sea Journeys connected with canceled Alaska sailings.

• Pacific Coastal: Two sailings in early October aboard Koningsdam and Oosterdam.

• Canada/New England: Three cruises aboard Zaandam departing in September 2021.

All 2022 Alaska and Canada/New England cruises will operate as scheduled. The Canadian Interim Order expires Feb. 28, 2022.

Holland America Line is closely following the protocol set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is preparing ships and implementing procedures to meet all requirements for approval to sail at the appropriate time.

Guests Automatically Rebooked in 2022 on Similar Cruise Holland America Line is notifying guests and their travel advisors of their options. Guests on Alaska and Canada/New England canceled departures that are paid in full automatically will be rebooked on an equivalent cruise or Land+Sea Journey in 2022 at the fare paid for 2021 – with all cash and FCC funds moved to the new booking. No other action is needed when accepting the rebooked itinerary. Replacement 2022 booking confirmations will be automatically sent within 30 days of this announcement.

All guests receive the following options:

• Paid in Full: Those who have paid in full will be automatically rebooked to the same cruise or Land+Sea Journey in 2022 at the fare paid for 2021.

• Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full may elect to be moved to the same cruise type or Land+Sea Journey in 2022 at the fare paid for 2021.

If guests decide not to accept a cruise booking in 2022 by March 31, 2021, they automatically default to receive an FCC of 110% of any cash paid on the booking. The minimum FCC is $25 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid. Guests will retain any other FCC used for the canceled 2021 booking with all FCC amounts moved to their loyalty account for use on a future cruise booking. For all bookings in 2022, standard cancellation policies will apply. Due to the fact that there are no equivalent cruises in 2022, Pacific Coastal cruise guests will receive the option for an FCC or full refund.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause to Select Alaska, Canada & New England and Pacific Coastal Sailings in 2021
As Princess Cruises continues to review and assess its operations as a result of the Canadian Transport Ministry's Interim Order that extends the closure of Canadian ports and waters to passenger vessels, the company has found it necessary to cancel the following voyages:

• Alaska seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruises, sailing between Vancouver, B.C. and Anchorage (Whittier)

• Pacific Coastals that start or end in Vancouver, B.C.

• Canadian Adventure sailing roundtrip from Southampton, UK

Princess is engaged with various United States and Canadian government officials to try to preserve a portion of the Alaska and Canada & New England 2021 cruise seasons. In the meantime, Princess has committed to operating the Kenai Princess Wilderness lodge along with McKinley Chalet Resort in Denali and Westmark Fairbanks Hotel this summer and is currently working on vacation land package details that will be announced shortly.

"We share in our guests' disappointment over these cancelled voyages especially as we have been preparing our ships for our return to service," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "Princess Cruises has sailed to Alaska for more than 50 years and the incredible Last Frontier is part of our proud heritage. We understand, how much of Alaska is dependent on the cruise economy. We are going to do all we can to help our business partners and the communities of Alaska."

For guests currently booked on a cancelled voyage who had paid in full, Princess will automatically rebook them to the same cruise or cruisetour in 2022. No action is required from guests or their travel advisors. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests' 2021 fare on their 2022 cruise. Once Princess has completed the booking transfer, if the guest would prefer an alternative option, they can choose a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 USD) or a full refund to the original form of payment.

Guests not paid in full will automatically receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 USD).

FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022. Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by March 31, 2021 or guests who are not paid in full will automatically receive the Future Cruise Credit option.

Royal Caribbean Group Announces Proposed Offering of Common Stock
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) (the "Company") today announced that it has commenced an underwritten public offering of $1.5 billion of shares of common stock of the Company. The Company expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

Morgan Stanley is acting as underwriter for the offering of common stock. A shelf registration statement relating to the shares of common stock has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and has become effective. The offering may be made only by means of a prospectus supplement and an accompanying base prospectus.

A preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the offering will be filed with the SEC and will be available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Copies of the preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained from Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, 180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10014, Attention: Prospectus Department.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 26.31 + 1.31%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 91.35 + 5.94%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.49 + 66.67%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 19.25 - 32.60%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship was the first ship to be so large that she could not fit through the Panama Canal?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship was the first ship to be so large that she could not fit through the Panama Canal?

Answer - The Carnival Destiny was the first cruise ship too large to fit through the Panama Canal. (Note: NCL's Norway was also too large to fit through the Panama Canal but she started life as an ocean liner).
courtesy of Robert Brenner, Charlottesville, Va.


Cruise News - February 22, 2021

Costa Restarts Cruises With New Program From March 27
The cruise ships of Costa Cruises are ready to set sail again and offer guests holidays filled with leisure and relaxation, along with enhanced health and safety protocols.

The restart begins with the departure of the flagship Costa Smeralda, scheduled for March 27 with an unchanged itinerary, sailing guests to beautiful Italian locations, with 3- and 4-day mini-cruises or alternatively a 7-day cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.

From May 1, Costa Smeralda will return to sailing one-week cruises in the western Mediterranean, with visits to Italy (Savona, Civitavecchia and Palermo), France (Marseille) and Spain (Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca).

A second ship, Costa Luminosa, will also be back in service, departing from Trieste from May 2, and the following day from Bari, confirming its program of one-week cruises in Greece and Croatia.

Costa is working with national and local authorities of the countries included in the itineraries of its ships outside Italy to define the details of the restart of cruise operations, with enhanced health and safety measures through the implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol.

The protocol contains operational measures related to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore, which were implemented in the past months of cruise operations. Such measures include limited capacity, swab tests for all guests and crew, temperature checks when disembarking and re-embarking the ship, protected shore excursions, physical distancing on board and at the cruise terminals, new ways of using on-board services, enhanced sanitation and medical services, and use of protective face masks when necessary.

Details of the itineraries, with related booking options, will soon be available on the website www.costacruises.eu and at travel agencies.

All other cruises scheduled until the end of May, and not included in the program updated today, will be cancelled.

Carnival Cruise Line Extends Pause From U.S. Through May 2021
Carnival Cruise Line has notified booked guests and travel advisors that its pause in operations from U.S. ports has been extended through May 31, 2021.

A date for the return of guest cruising operations from U.S. ports has not yet been determined. Earlier in February, Carnival began providing more flexible options for guests booked into early summer so that they could cancel their reservation without penalty if they needed or wanted to make other plans. As it has done throughout the pause, Carnival is providing guests on cruises cancelled today the choice of a future cruise credit plus onboard credit package, or a full refund.

"We continue to work on plans to resume operations and are encouraged by the focus to expedite vaccine production and distribution which are having a demonstrated impact on improving public health," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We appreciate the support of all of our guests, employees and trade partners who we know are looking forward to our return."

Royal Caribbean Group Reports 2020 Results
Royal Caribbean Group today reported financial results for the fiscal year of 2020 and commented on the business considering the global COVID-19 pandemic.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is having a painful and profound impact on our world and our business; unquestionably, this crisis is the most difficult in the Company's history. But we have been impressed and grateful for the resourcefulness and agility of our team in responding to these unprecedented challenges. More importantly, we remain confident about the ability of our Company to recover and return to the positive trajectory we were on previously," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO. "We are encouraged to see the sharp decline in cases and the growing availability of vaccines. We can't wait to get back to the business of showing people the world and making great memories."

Full Year 2020 results:

As part of the global containment effort resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company implemented a voluntary suspension of its cruise operations beginning March 13, 2020, which has been extended for most ships through at least April 30, 2021.

For the full year, the Company reported US GAAP Net Loss of $(5.8) billion or $(27.05) per share compared to US GAAP Net Income of $1.9 billion or $8.95 per share in the prior year. The Company also reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(3.9) billion or $(18.31) per share for full year 2020 compared to Adjusted Net Income of $2.0 billion or $9.54 per share in the prior year.

Fourth Quarter 2020 results:

US GAAP Net Loss for the fourth quarter was $(1.4) billion or $(6.09) per share and Adjusted Net Loss was $(1.1) billion or $(5.02) per share. Last year, US GAAP Net Income was $273.1 million or $1.30 per share, and Adjusted Net Income was $297.4 million or $1.42 per share for the fourth quarter.

The Net Loss and Adjusted Net Loss for the fourth quarter and full year of 2020 are the result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business.

"These results reflect the staggering impact that the pandemic brought to our Company and the whole industry during 2020," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "I want to thank all our teams who have risen to the occasion, managing through the toughest year in Royal Caribbean's history."

Health & Safety Protocols, Business Update

The Company continues to work and collaborate with the Healthy Sail Panel, epidemiologists, health authorities and various governments around the globe to ensure a healthy and safe return to cruising for guests, crew and the communities visited. While the situation remains highly fluid, knowledge of the virus and how it spreads continues to improve.

The Company has already begun some limited operations. For example, in December, Quantum of the Seas started operating out of Singapore. In addition, our TUI Cruises affiliate has had three vessels operating in the Canary Islands since November. "Guests are sharing very positive reviews and we are also seeing a higher proportion of first-time cruisers than expected. We believe that these cruises, even before the availability of vaccines, are helping us learn and demonstrate to others how we can operate successfully under the current COVID-19 environment," noted Mr. Fain.

The Company also continues to prepare and develop its plan to meet the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for US sailings. While the framework represents an important step to return to service, many uncertainties remain as to the specifics, timing, and cost of implementing its requirements. Overall, and due to the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Company expects to re-start its global cruise operation in a phased manner with the initial cruises having reduced guest occupancy, modified itineraries and enhanced health and safety protocols.

On January 29, 2021, the Company announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Azamara brand in an all-cash transaction for $201 million. The deal includes Azamara's three-ship fleet and associated intellectual property.

Update on Liquidity Actions and Ongoing Uses of Cash

Since the suspension of its global cruise operation, the Company has taken aggressive actions to enhance its liquidity through significant cost and capital reductions, cash preservation measures and by obtaining additional financing. During 2020, the Company raised approximately $9.3 billion of new capital through a combination of bond issuances, common stock public offerings and other loan facilities.

P&O Cruises Australia Extends Cruising Pause
P&O Cruises Australia is maintaining its optimism for the ultimate restart of cruising while, in the meantime, again taking a practical approach in extending its current operational pause to departures on or before 18 June, 2021.

Guests with bookings affected by the pause extension are being given as much notice as possible to provide them with greater certainty around their holiday plans.

"While we are becoming increasingly confident in the restart of cruising in Australia, we are continuing with the realistic and pragmatic approach we have adopted previously," P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said.

"We know from our contact with guests and through our social media channels that they, like us, can't wait to be cruising again and our crew can't wait to again be delivering exceptional cruise holiday experiences.

"We once again thank our guests for their patience and understanding and for their unwavering loyalty to Australia's homegrown cruise line."

P&O will make contact with guests whose cruises have been affected, either directly or via their appointed travel agent, to let them know of the pause extension and the options available to them.

Royal Caribbean Debuts Short Carivvean Sailings
Royal Caribbean International today revealed all-new short Caribbean sailings that redefine what it means to “get away.” With more ships offering shorter and more frequent escapes in 2022-2023, the cruise line provides vacationers with the flexibility they need without sacrificing the adventure they crave. Guests can make the most of a long weekend away or a midweek break on one of eight innovative ships, departing from five ports across Florida and Texas, sailing 17 distinct itineraries. The convenient 3- to 5-night cruise vacations combine unparalleled onboard experiences with culturally rich destinations perfect for any type of traveler.

There will be no shortage of adventure, from discovering the ancient ruins of Costa Maya, Mexico to exploring the tropical picture-perfect islands of The Bahamas and Caribbean. Guests can also experience the endless thrill and chill that awaits on Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s game-changing private destination in The Bahamas. The island features Thrill Waterpark with 13 jaw-dropping slides, like the tallest waterslide in North America; the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool; and Up, Up & Away, the helium balloon that floats up to 450 feet in the air. Vacationers can enjoy The Bahamas’ first floating cabanas at the destination’s Coco Beach Club, which includes a beachside dining experience, infinity pool and private cabanas.

Royal Caribbean’s 2022-2023 seasonal and year-round short Caribbean cruises open for bookings today. Highlights of the sun-soaked sailings include:

Unforgettable Year-Round Adventures

• On the heels of a $116 million amplification in 2020, Freedom of the Seas will sail 3- and 4-night cruises from Miami to Nassau and top-rated Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas.

• Independence of the Seas will continue to sail 3- and 4-night getaways from Orlando’s Port Canaveral to The Bahamas, with full-day visits in Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Tropical Seasonal Getaways

• Liberty of the Seas will take a turn in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to sail alternating 3- and 4-night winter escapes to The Bahamas, including Perfect Day at CocoCay and Grand Bahama Island – a new destination for the ship.

• Mariner of the Seas, the ship that first revolutionized the short Caribbean getaway with amplified experiences, will continue sailing from Port Canaveral through the winter, now with southbound 4- and 5-night cruises to the western Caribbean and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

• Brilliance of the Seas will set sail from Venice (Ravenna), Italy to settle in Tampa, Florida for the winter season. The ship will embark on a mix of 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean itineraries, offering select 4-night sailings to Nassau and Key West, Florida.

• Tampa favorite Rhapsody of the Seas will sail 4- and 5-night sailings to Cozumel, Mexico and George Town, Grand Cayman in the spring and early fall. In the heart of summer, vacationers can opt for 7-night adventures visiting Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico.

• Following a summer in the Big Apple, Adventure of the Seas will return to Galveston for the winter season to sail 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean itineraries to Cozumel and Costa Maya.

• Grandeur of the Seas will set its sights on Galveston for the summer in 2022, following the ship’s first winter season cruising from Barbados. The 4- and 5-night itineraries from the Lonestar State will visit the picturesque shores of Costa Maya and Cozumel.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 25.97 + 26.07%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 86.23 + 27.50%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.50 + 66.67%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 28.56 + 21.33%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship was the first ship to be so large that she could not fit through the Panama Canal?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
American Export Lines operated a quartet of popular combination ships following the Second World War. The ships were known as the "Four Aces". What were the names of these ships.

Answer - The 4 Aces were the quartet of passenger-cargo liners Excalibur, Exochorda, Exeter, and Excambion, originally built for American Export Lines by New York Shipbuilding of Camden, New Jersey between 1929 and 1931.
courtesy of Ron Russo, Salem, New Hampshire


Cruise News - February 15, 2021

AIDA Cruises opens 2021 cruise season on March 20
AIDA Cruises today announced it will open its 2021 cruise season starting March 20 with AIDAperla sailing around the Canary Islands, the group of Spanish islands off the northwest coast of Africa, a favorite "fly and cruise" vacation for German travelers looking to enjoy the region's "eternal spring" weather and unique destinations.

The German federal government has extended the lockdown to contain the pandemic until March 2021. Many of AIDA's cruise destinations have also implemented measures that significantly restrict international holiday travel through early spring.

As a result, AIDA is also announcing that all trips originally planned from March 6 up to and including March 19, 2021, are unable to take place. AIDA Cruises appreciates all guests affected for their understanding.

With the "AIDA promise," the cruise company offers guests more flexibility and security in planning. Generous booking options are part of AIDA's commitment to its guests, ranging from small down payments to free rebooking. The "AIDA promise" is included in the travel price for new bookings up to March 31, 2021, and applies to departures up to Oct. 31, 2021.

All cruises are carried out in compliance with AIDA's extensive health and safety protocols, as well as national and local laws and regulations for infection protection. More information is available at www.aida.de/sichererurlaub.

All guests whose voyage cannot take place as originally scheduled will be informed immediately. To make it easy for guests to enjoy their long-awaited AIDA holidays at a later date, the company offers rebooking options from its diverse range of cruises.

Costa Restarts Cruises With New Program From March 27
The cruise ships of Costa Cruises are ready to set sail again and offer guests holidays filled with leisure and relaxation, along with enhanced health and safety protocols.

The restart begins with the departure of the flagship Costa Smeralda, scheduled for March 27 with an unchanged itinerary, sailing guests to beautiful Italian locations, with 3- and 4-day mini-cruises or alternatively a 7-day cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.

From May 1, Costa Smeralda will return to sailing one-week cruises in the western Mediterranean, with visits to Italy (Savona, Civitavecchia and Palermo), France (Marseille) and Spain (Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca).

A second ship, Costa Luminosa, will also be back in service, departing from Trieste from May 2, and the following day from Bari, confirming its program of one-week cruises in Greece and Croatia.

Costa is working with national and local authorities of the countries included in the itineraries of its ships outside Italy to define the details of the restart of cruise operations, with enhanced health and safety measures through the implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol.

The protocol contains operational measures related to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore, which were implemented in the past months of cruise operations. Such measures include limited capacity, swab tests for all guests and crew, temperature checks when disembarking and re-embarking the ship, protected shore excursions, physical distancing on board and at the cruise terminals, new ways of using on-board services, enhanced sanitation and medical services, and use of protective face masks when necessary.

Details of the itineraries, with related booking options, will soon be available on the website www.costacruises.eu and at travel agencies.

All other cruises scheduled until the end of May, and not included in the program updated today, will be cancelled. Costa is in the process of informing travel agents and customers affected by changes.

Royal Caribbean Announces Extension of the Singapore Season for Quantum of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International today announced the extension of the Singapore season for Quantum of the Seas, one of Asia’s largest and most revolutionary ships. This follows the success of the safe cruises pilot programme, which launched in December 2020. With this extension, Royal Caribbean will deploy Quantum for an additional three months in Singapore between 22 March 2021 and 21 June 2021.

Singapore residents can continue to satisfy their feelings of wanderlust and enjoy fun-filled activities, next-generation entertainment and world-class dining on board one of Royal Caribbean’s most groundbreaking ships. Now available for bookings, these 2-, 3- and 4-night Ocean Getaways will continue to operate with the same set of comprehensive health and safety measures in place, such as mandatory COVID-19 testing, reduced sailing capacity and strict physical distancing measures.

“We are thrilled to announce the extension of the sailing season and look forward to having guests experience first-hand our signature cruise vacation that has wowed local cruisers already, with many booking repeat visits,” said Angie Stephen, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean International. “Our close partnership with the Singapore Government has played an instrumental role in the success of these pilot cruises, and we remain committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our guests and crew during these additional sailings.”

Holidaymakers of all ages can expect the same signature Royal Caribbean experience on their Ocean Getaway, while cruising with peace of mind. The global cruise operator has taken every effort to keep guests and crew aboard Quantum of the Seas safe through a comprehensive set of health and safety measures that adhere to the CruiseSafe Certification standards jointly developed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and DNV GL[1]. For a full list of health and safety measures being enforced on board Quantum, visit www.royalpromise.com/singapore.

The ground-breaking Quantum of the Seas features unmatched innovations in onboard attractions, such as RipCord by iFLY, the first skydiving experience at sea; North Star, an engineering marvel that transports guests more than 300 feet above the ocean; SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; as well as the Bionic Bar powered by Makr Shakr—home to the world’s first robotic bartenders. Guests will also get to enjoy a landscape of 18 restaurant concepts as vast and varied as dining in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, including specialty restaurants created with partner chefs such as Jamie Oliver.

Guests who book their sail-cation on Quantum of the Seas before 30 April 2021 can be assured of flexibility in their plans with Royal Caribbean’s Cruise with Confidence program, which allows for changes and cancellations up to 48 hours before the cruise begins. For even greater peace of mind, included with the cruise are COVID-19 protections which include a 100% credit towards a future cruise should a guest or any member of their travel party test positive for COVID-19 during the three weeks prior to their booked cruise; or a full refund if a guest, or any member of their travel party, tests positive during their voyage. Royal Caribbean will continue to cover COVID-19 related costs up to $25,000 SGD per person in the travel party for onboard medical costs, any required quarantine, and travel home.

Royal Caribbean Announces New York Sailings in 2022
Royal Caribbean International today opens a new lineup of 2022-2023 adventures on three award-winning ships – Adventure, Anthem and Voyager of the Seas – cruising from the Big Apple and Boston. Vacationers can set sail into vacation mode on cruises headed north or south for 4 to 11 nights. Whether exploring the island jewels of the southern Caribbean, relishing the famed beaches of Bermuda and The Bahamas, taking a day for thrill and chill at Royal Caribbean’s top-rated private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, or catching the golden hues of fall foliage in New England and the Great White North, guests have their choice of Royal Caribbean’s best season in the Northeast yet.

The new sailings from the Northeast departing from May 2022 to April 2023 are now open for sale. Highlights of the upcoming warm-weather and cooler escapes include:

Adventure of the Seas, packed with onboard thrills like The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides and a variety of dining options including Izumi, will return to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey to sail a combination of itineraries to Bermuda, the Caribbean and Canada. City-dwellers can opt to recharge in the sun with 5-night Bermuda cruises to enjoy the island’s colorful culture, natural beauty and an evening out in the historic city of Kings Wharf during overnight stays. New for summer 2022, Adventure’s 9-night Eastern Caribbean sailings will bring within reach highly sought-after islands, including St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, Bermuda and Royal Caribbean’s private destination, Labadee, in Haiti. Vacationers looking to venture north for a brisk getaway have the option of 4- and 9-night cruises heading up the east coast to visit memorable ports of call Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Boston; Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine.

New York will also see the return of longtime favorite Anthem of the Seas when it arrives from Southampton, England in October 2022. Known for its groundbreaking attractions, from RipCord by iFly skydiving to the North Star observation capsule, next-generation entertainment and world-class dining, Anthem will set out on 7-night cruises to The Bahamas that include full days in Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay. From the tallest waterslide in North America and a signature helium balloon ride that offers the highest vantage point in The Bahamas, to The Bahamas’ first floating cabanas at the island’s exclusive Coco Beach Club, every kind of traveler can find their perfect dose of thrill and chill on Perfect Day at CocoCay. Guests looking for extended time in the tropics can opt for one of Anthem’s 11-night southern Caribbean sailings to iconic isles such as San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John’s, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia; and Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis.

Rounding out the season, Voyager of the Seas will make her Boston debut touting Royal Caribbean favorites, including Battle for Planet Z laser tag and The Perfect Storm waterslides duo that get hearts pumping with three stories of twists and turns. The thrilling combination of experiences will make for unforgettable family vacations on picturesque cruises showcasing the rugged beauty and rich history of the North Atlantic. In the midst of prime leaf peeping season, the 7-night sailings to Canada will bring guests to charming coastal towns, including Saint John, Halifax, as well as Bar Harbor and Portland. Vacationers looking for an escape to warm waters before winter can chart course for San Juan on a 7-night cruise with stops in the Dominican Republic and St. Thomas as well as a day of memory-making at Perfect Day at CocoCay. Voyager will arrive to the U.S. to start her season in Boston following a 14-night Arctic Crossing from Copenhagen, Denmark, which will bring guests to the wild landscapes of Iceland and Greenland along the way.

Seabourn Launches Two Ultimate Trips: 2023 World Cruise And 2023 Grand Voyage
Seabourn is inviting travelers to plan for travel in 2023 on the brand's World Cruise and Grand Voyage. The 140-day 2023 World Cruise: Extraordinary Discoveries on Seabourn Sojourn, and 79-day 2023 Grand Voyage: Grand Americas, Amazon & Antarctica aboard Seabourn Quest, offer two distinct voyages set to visit multiple continents and ports while offering exclusive opportunities to experience natural wonders and diverse cultures. The voyages will be open for sale tomorrow, February 12, and the full itinerary details will be available on Seabourn's website.

The itineraries of both sailings were carefully curated by Seabourn's Global Itinerary Planning and Product Development team, who designed each voyage with "differentiation" and unique experiences in mind.

"Our team designed the 2023 World Cruise and 2023 Grand Voyage to be exploratory in nature, focused on alluring destinations and experiences that most guests are likely not familiar with but will love being able to discover," said Tim Littley, senior director of Global Itinerary Planning and Product Development for Seabourn.

"Given these uncertain times, our guests have asked Seabourn to offer travel options further into the future. With the 2023 World Cruise and Grand Voyage, we open options well into 2023 for future planning," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Imagine sailing from Miami, heading south and then west around the world and finishing the voyage in Barcelona on Seabourn's world cruise or departing round-trip Miami and circumnavigating South America including iconic Antarctica."

2023 World Cruise: Extraordinary Discoveries

The 2023 World Cruise: Extraordinary Discoveries will see Seabourn Sojourn cross two great oceans – Pacific and Indian – as well as traverse the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of Africa, stopping at renowned ports, including Papeete, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Mombasa, Cape Town, Durban, Dakar, Casablanca and more. The ship will also visit a number of small, hidden gems in the South Pacific, Easter Island, Papua New Guinea, Western Australia, Seychelles, Cape Verde, West Africa and more. Departing on January 6, 2023, the 140-day voyage from Miami to Barcelona will visit a total of 61 destinations and 32 countries. The sailing will include overnights in 10 cities and extended stays late into the evening in 16 ports, offering more time in port for guests to explore these fascinating destinations. Seabourn will also offer segments of the World Cruise ranging from 21 to 81 days in length for travelers who can't sail for the full duration of the voyage.

2023 Grand Voyage: Grand Americas, Amazon & Antarctica

There will be plenty for guests to look forward to on the 2023 Grand Voyage as Seabourn Quest sails to Central America, skims the coast of South America, and sails to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, before making its way back smoothly to the Amazon and through the Caribbean. Departing on January 6, 2023, the 79-day voyage round-trip from Miami will visit a total of 37 destinations and 15 countries, with five overnight stays and extended stays late into the evening in eight destinations. Seabourn will also offer the Grand Voyage in shorter segments ranging from 21 to 58 days, should guests not have the flexibility to make the full two-month voyage.

Both voyages will offer the line's popular "Ventures by Seabourn" program, featuring expert expedition teams leading intensive explorations of extraordinary destinations on optional kayaking, Zodiac, snorkeling and trekking tours. The Grand Voyage will include a five-day "Antarctica Experience," where Zodiac cruising and landings will be included, while kayaking adventures will be optional.

There will also be exclusive special events planned over the course of each voyage, as well as local entertainment, regional cuisines, and palate-pleasing wines for guests to savor as they sail around the globe. Guests will also have opportunities to take their travels further with assorted picks from the line's optional Seabourn Journeys collection, offering escorted pre-, post- and mid-voyage experiences to explore iconic landmarks that are best experienced beyond a scheduled port call.

Carnival Cruise Line Launches Cruise-Themed Monopoly Game
Fans looking for a new way to remember their Carnival cruise at home – or better yet, imagine a future vacation when cruising resumes – can now enjoy Monopoly Carnival Fun Edition, a cruise-themed version on the classic board game.

The signature elements of the self-described “Fast Dealing Property Game” game are all there but with a unique twist with 28 popular Carnival Cruise Line features and attractions, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, Cherry on Top, Lido Marketplace, and JavaBlue Café, serving as landing spots for players. Each of the spaces have a designated value and players purchase these properties with money emblazoned with the line’s iconic funnel. There are also Cruise Director Announcements and Funnel Chest Cards with challenges and directions for players while game pieces appropriately enough include a cruise ship.

“Everyone has played Monopoly and we’re excited to create this one-of-a-kind version that includes many of Carnival’s most popular onboard spaces that we’re sure our fans will enjoy,” said Andres Villalever, director of retail for Carnival Cruise Line. “We’re always looking for new ways to celebrate the Carnival brand and when we had the opportunity to be a part of this custom-designed Monopoly game, we jumped at the chance.”

Monopoly Carnival Fun Edition is colorfully packaged with a giant image of its newest ship, Mardi Gras, on the cover, as well as on the game board itself.

Carnival Cruise Line Monopoly is available on the line’s online retail site.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.60 - 4.67%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 67.63 - 4.34%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.30 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 23.54 - 5.88%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
American Export Lines operated a quartet of popular combination ships following the Second World War. The ships were known as the "Four Aces". What were the names of these ships.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Few ocean liners or cruise ships end up preserved like the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Most end up in very different circumstances. Whatever happened to Cunard's famous Caronia of 1948?

Answer - Caronia was sold to Star Shipping in 1968, renamed Columbia. While in Greece for engine repairs was sold to A.Konstaninidis and renamed Caribia. On 2nd cruise out of New York in 1969 suffered engine explosion. Laid up in New York, then sold for scrapping in 1974. Wrecked off Guam amd broken up there.
courtesy of Rob Scafidi


Cruise News - February 8, 2021

Canada Bans Cruise Ships Through February 2022
The Government of Canada announced this week that continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it is having on the marine and tourism sectors. Keeping Canadians and transportation workers safe and healthy are top priorities for Transport Canada.

Earlier this week, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced two new Interim Orders, which prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. This means:

• Adventure-seeking pleasure craft are still prohibited from entering Arctic waters.

• Passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people are still prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, and the Labrador Coast.

• Cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people are still prohibited from operating in Canadian waters.

• Pleasure craft used by local Arctic residents will not be affected by these measures.

With these prohibitions in place, public health authorities will be able to continue focusing on the most pressing issues, including the vaccine rollout and new COVID-19 variants.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada continues to advise Canadian citizens and permanent residents to avoid all travel on cruise ships outside Canada until further notice.

Essential passenger vessels, such as ferries and water taxis, should continue to follow local public health guidance and protocols, and follow mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks. These could include: reducing the number of passengers, ensuring physical distancing, the wearing of masks, and enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures.

Cruise vessels in Canadian waters pose a risk to our health care systems. The Government of Canada will continue to evaluate the situation and make changes as necessary to ensure the health and safety of all Canadians. Should the COVID-19 pandemic sufficiently improve to allow the resumption of these activities, the Minister of Transport has the ability to rescind the Interim Orders.

Canadian Cruise Ship Ban Opens Door for Smaller Operators
Small boat adventure brand, UnCruise Adventures announced this week that it will sail as scheduled despite Canada’s extended cruise ship ban into 2022. The U.S flagged and Alaska owned small boat operator does not fall under the ban, operating vessels with less than 100 passengers and crew. UnCruise Adventures will resume operations in May 2021 with 7–14-night itineraries offered into September. The company may be one of the only cruise lines operating in Alaska in 2021, working to support the many people in the region who rely on tourism.

The company’s CEO held a virtual press conference this morning to address growing questions and concerns about the future of cruising. UnCruise Adventures has spent the past eleven months in preparation for positive progress to resume operations. Including their commitment to the health, safety, and well-being of guests and crew. The company has firm dates to sail in Alaska that include their COVID safety framework implemented in 2020 and their new triple test process. This three-test combination is a required PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival in Alaska, a follow-up antigen (rapid) test on check-in with an UnCruise Adventures representative, and a second antigen test upon embarkation. This provides a high degree of certainty that people will not be exposed to Covid-19 while aboard the 22-86 passenger boats.

This new cruise ban comes on the tail of positive news of vaccination availability that has increased guest confidence in travel again,” states company CEO, Dan Blanchard. “If the ban continues, we may be one of the only boats cruising in Alaska this season. This is a great opportunity to educate people about small boat adventure options, but we would have preferred it without an extended cruise ban affecting so many.”

UnCruise Adventures has the ability to operate due to its small boat nature, providing small groups and a small environmental footprint. It does not require port stops and is foregoing visits to small cultural communities during its 2021 sailing season.

This is another strike to those who depend on travel and tourism for their livelihood,” says Blanchard “While other news would have been favorable and this is painful for all of us, including our big brothers in the cruise industry, we understand the Canadian government is working hard to keep its citizens safe.”

Senior Staff Officers Named for Holland America Line's New Ship, Rotterdam
Holland America Line has a history that spans nearly 150 years, and with that comes a depth of talented crew who will be aboard Rotterdam when the ship is delivered in July. The cruise line has appointed Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert, Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot, Chief Engineer Peter Massolt, Staff Chief Engineer Wim Akkerman and Environmental Officer Michael Brown to lead Rotterdam's shipboard teams.

Holland America Line previously announced that Captain Werner Timmers will be at the helm of Rotterdam. The 99,500-ton ship currently is under construction at Fincantieri's shipyard at Marghera, Italy.

"Holland America Line has a solid foundation of exceptional leaders who are seasoned at delivering new ships, and these team members bring years of experience, knowledge and dedication to our brand," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "As we move toward delivery this summer, this team will be tasked with getting the ship ready to welcome guests and ensuring we have a happy complement of crew. We know they're up to the task, and we congratulate them on their appointments."

Meet Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert

Kevin Beirnaert joined Holland America Line in 2006 and worked on Rotterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, where he recently filled in as captain.

Hailing from Gent, Belgium, Beirnaert studied at the Hogere Zeevaart school in Antwerp, Belgium, where he graduated with a degree in masters nautical science. As a cadet and junior officer, he started his career with freight carrier Ecuadorian Line and on dredging ships in Dubai, U.A.E., on the Palm Jumeirah project before joining Holland America Line. He resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fun Fact: If he weren't at sea, he'd be a police officer in Belgium.

Meet Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot

Since joining Holland America Line in 2005, Wessel van Oorschot has worked his way through the ranks of the food and beverage department from assistant maître d' to hotel director. Van Oorschot studied hospitality management at Hotelschool Ter Duinen in Belgium and Baronie College in the Netherlands and started his career at Holland America Line as an intern. Rotterdam will be the fourth new ship he has launched with the company, having previously introduced Nieuw Statendam, Koningsdam and Nieuw Amsterdam.

When not on board, van Oorschot lives in the Philippines with his wife, who is a shipboard doctor with Holland America Line.

Fun Fact: His song request at Billboard Onboard would be "Piano Man" by Billy Joel.

Meet Chief Engineer Peter Massolt

A Dutch native from Drachten in the province of Friesland, Peter Massolt has worked a total of 19 years with Holland America Line, from 1980-87 and then again from 2008 onwards. During his time with the company, he has worked on ss and ms Rotterdam, Ryndam, Prinsendam, Statendam, Veendam, Volendam, Noordam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Nieuw Statendam.

Massolt holds a bachelor's degree in marine engineering from the Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz. In his free time, he enjoys restoring Land Rovers, camping and aerobatic flying. He speaks Dutch, English, German and Frisian.

Fun Fact: If he had to swap roles with someone on board, he'd be a Cruise & Travel Director because he is an advocate for learning culture and enjoys the port talks.

Meet Staff Chief Engineer Wim Akkerman

Wim Akkerman joined Holland America Line in 1994 following an apprenticeship on cargo reefer vessels. Raised in the small village of Nederhorst den Berg, the Netherlands, Akkerman went to the Zeevaart maritime college and became a maritime officer, but he chose a technical route.

Fun Fact: His favorite Holland America Line specialty restaurant is Canaletto.

Meet Environmental Officer Michael Brown

A native of Panama where he still resides, Michael Brown joined Holland America Line in 2016. Previously he was a marine engineer in the cruise industry.

Brown graduated from the Universidad Marítima Internacional de Panamá with a bachelor's degree in nautical marine engineering. When not working, he enjoys being with friends and watching movies.

Fun Fact: His ideal shore excursions involve nature, hiking and kayaking.

The third in the Pinnacle Class series, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi's Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Café. Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with an exclusive collection of world-class performances each night.

Throughout the ship, Rotterdam will showcase Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam is the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line and the 17th ship constructed for the brand by Italian shipyard Fincantieri.

Following Rotterdam's Premiere Voyage departing Aug. 1, 2021, the ship will spend its inaugural summer season in northern Europe.

Seabourn Looks Ahead To 2022 With Ultra-Luxury Voyages In Europe, Alaska, Canada & New England
Seabourn is looking forward to 2022 by announcing a number of summer and fall voyages, including Europe, Alaska and British Columbia, and Canada and New England. These voyages will provide travelers with the opportunity to rediscover the world while sailing on the line's award-winning, ultra-luxury intimate ships. Itinerary details with more information on the specific destinations for each region will be available on Seabourn's website.

A wide range of itineraries are being offered in each region, including 68 sailings in Europe in summer 2022, with voyages of seven to 14 days, and options to combine voyages to up to 38 days. Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Ovation, Seabourn Quest and Seabourn Sojourn are scheduled to journey the coasts of 'the Continent' with itineraries designed to appeal broadly to highly discerning travelers. The ships will visit a combination of popular cities and hidden gems and destinations accessible only to smaller ships and yachts, as well as 27 European ports the line has not visited in the past five years – or ever before. Noteworthy maiden calls will include Vis and Trogir, Croatia; Esbjerg, Denmark; Plymouth and Portsmouth, England; La Ciotat and Douarnenez, France; Laerdal, Norway; and Ferrol and Puerto Rosario, Fuerteventura, Canarias in Spain.

In addition, the line has scheduled 15 2022 summer sailings aboard Seabourn Odyssey in Alaska and British Columbia, with voyages running seven to 11 days and options to extend up to 14 days. The line will also offer six sailings in late summer and early fall aboard Seabourn Quest in Canada and New England, with voyages from 12 to 14 days.

"For the past year, most of us have been dreaming about traveling again and exploring this magnificent world we live in," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We hope our new 2022 voyages will give luxury travelers something to look forward to and encourage them to make future travel plans. There is no better way to explore Europe, Alaska, and Canada and New England than with Seabourn."

European Itineraries to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe

• Seabourn Sojourn will spend early June 2022 cruising from Athens through the Adriatic to Greek Isles, Albania, Croatia and Malta, then arrive in the Western Mediterranean with a series of seven-day voyages between Barcelona and Rome exploring the French and Italian Rivieras and Spain. The ship will also sail on 10- and 11-day voyages, featuring additional ports including Tangier, Gibraltar and Malta while offering longer combinations. In October, Seabourn Sojourn will linger in Iberia with seven-day Spain and Portugal voyages, finishing with two new seven-day Canary Island voyages between Lisbon and Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, before departing November 6 to reach Miami in 12 days.

• Summer 2022 in Europe for Seabourn Quest will start on May 10 with an 11-day voyage from Barcelona to Venice, where the ship will offer a series of new seven-, 10- and 11-day round-trip voyages from Venice exploring the Adriatic. The Europe season includes a 10-day voyage from Venice to Barcelona, followed by an exceptional 14-day repositioning voyage from Barcelona to Dover taking in stunning Spanish, Portuguese, French and British ports, including eight hours scenic sailing up the Garonne into the heart of Bordeaux for an overnight. On August 5, Seabourn Quest will embark on the Route of the Vikings, arriving in Montreal 24 days later after exploring the British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, and the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Quebec, with exciting Ventures by Seabourn offerings along the way.

• Beginning mid-April 2022, Seabourn Encore will set sail from the sun-kissed, perennially popular Eastern Mediterranean, with seven-day voyages of the Greek Isles and Turkish coast providing numerous departures through twin itineraries that invite combinations with Mykonos and Ephesus in one direction, and Santorini and Bodrum in the other. Look for novel seven-day voyages between Athens and Haifa, and round-trip voyages from Athens offering intriguing combination options, as well as a pair of seven-day itineraries into the Adriatic between Athens and Venice with Dubrovnik and Zadar one way, and Sibenik and Kotor the other. In late November, Seabourn Encore will make one last departure from Athens toward Dubai and head back to Southeast Asia.

• Seabourn Ovation will visit charming islands in the Mediterranean starting in late April 2022, sailing from Athens to Monte Carlo with calls at Lipari and Ponza. Beginning late May 2022, the ship will embark on a series of seven-day voyages in the Western Mediterranean from Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome – with seasonal departures through May and June and repeated in October and November – offering inviting combinations of popular itineraries in Spain, France and Italy. Following a 14-day Western Europe voyage from Lisbon to Copenhagen, the ship will spend the summer in Northern Europe with the line's popular seven-day St. Petersburg and Baltic voyages between Copenhagen and Stockholm, as well as 14-day Norway and the North Cape sailings round-trip from Copenhagen. Departing the Danish capital on September 10, Seabourn Ovation will sail to Dover via the Kiel Canal with an overnight in Amsterdam, followed by a 14-day sail round-trip from Dover with ports throughout the British Isles, and then a classic 14-day Vintage Europe cruise from Dover to Barcelona with an overnight at Rouen for Paris. With another round of seven-day Mediterranean voyages lit by the golden beauty of autumn, Seabourn Ovation's time cruising 'the Continent' will conclude with a 14-day European grand finale from Barcelona to Lisbon, connecting Spain, Morocco and the Canary Islands with an overnight in Tenerife. The ship will depart Europe for the Caribbean on November 26 on a 14-day transatlantic to Barbados.

Alaska and British Columbia

• Starting May 27, 2022, Seabourn Odyssey will sail to Alaska and British Columbia during the summer of 2022 with a series of seven-, 10- and 11-day voyages. The ship will offer 11 seven-day voyages between Vancouver and Juneau, as well as four 10- and 11-day round-trip Vancouver voyages. All itineraries will feature optional Ventures by Seabourn excursions featuring kayaking, Zodiac cruising, and hiking outings. In addition, guests will be able to combine seven-day voyages into 14-day round-trip sailings from Vancouver throughout the season.

Canada and New England Itineraries

• Experience voyages inspired by autumnal beauty along the eastern seaboard of North America. Beginning August 29, 2022, Seabourn Quest will begin a series of four 12-day Canada and New England Fall Foliage cruises between Montreal and New York City, with one 12-day Canadian Autumn cruise with heavy Canadian content sailing round-trip from Montreal on September 22. With the season cooling, the ship will head south late October from Montreal on a 14-day Atlantic Coast Harbors cruise to Miami.

Carnival Cruise Line Reveals Additional Details on Italian-Themed La Piazza Zone on New Mardi Gras
On National Pizza Day, Carnival Cruise Line today revealed additional details on La Piazza, a stunning Italian-themed zone on its newest ship, Mardi Gras, set to debut in May.

Inspired by Italy’s unique culture and delicious culinary offerings, La Piazza will be home to a variety of new food and beverage outlets, as well as expanded versions of longtime Carnival favorites.

Designed to resemble a stroll through an Italian courtyard with red brick, street lights and ornate iron and tile work, as well as murals of famous piazzas in Rome, Venice and other Italian cities, La Piazza also features fun, “Insta-worthy” touches like a Vespa scooter and a Fiat – both from 1972, the year of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding with the original Mardi Gras – positioned along the promenade.

New spaces include Bar della Rosa inspired by the country’s charming cafes with classic with classic Italian cocktails such as the Aperol Spritz, Italian wines sourced from regions across the country, Italian beers, as well as espresso and cappuccinos, all made with Lavazza coffee.

There’s also Piazza Panini with hand-pressed sandwiches like Salumeria stuffed with capicola, prosciutto, salami, provolone and roasted peppers, as well as the Peppe featuring mortadella, provolone, mozzarella, tomatoes and spicy olives. A number of deli favorites and desserts are offered as well.

Mardi Gras will feature the largest Cucina del Capitano in the fleet with a menu of Italian favorites and a diverse wine list with selections that include Zonin Soave and Batasiolo Barolo, all enhanced by a décor featuring historical photos, artwork and memorabilia from Carnival’s officers, highlighted by colorful oil paintings of the Mardi Gras and its namesake vessel that established Carnival Cruise Line in 1972.

Pizzeria del Capitano offering five varieties of freshly baked artisanal pizzas by the pie or by the slice available 24 hours a day, has also been expanded just for Mardi Gras. La Piazza’s delicious culinary offerings can be enjoyed inside at tables along the promenade or al fresco on the Lanai.

La Piazza is one of six themed zones on Mardi Gras which also features The French Quarter, Grand Central, The Lido, Summer Landing, and The Ultimate Playground, home to BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea.

The first ship in North America powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), Mardi Gras is scheduled to debut from Port Canaveral, Fla., May 29, 2021, operating week-long itineraries.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 21.61 + 14.95%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 70.70 + 7.53%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.30 + 9.09%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.01 + 11.65%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Few ocean liners or cruise ships end up preserved like the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Most end up in very different circumstances. Whatever happened to Cunard's famous Caronia of 1948?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Few ocean liners or cruise ships end up preserved like the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Most end up in very different circumstances. Whatever happened to Cunard's famous Caronia of 1948?

Answer - Caronia was sold to Star Shipping in 1968, renamed Columbia. While in Greece for engine repairs was sold to A.Konstaninidis and renamed Caribia. On 2nd cruise out of New York in 1969 suffered engine explosion. Laid up in New York, then sold for scrapping in 1974. Wrecked off Guam amd broken up there.
courtesy of Rob Scafidi


Cruise News - February 1, 2021

Holland America Line Names Rotterdam Master
Holland America Line has named Werner Timmers, a captain with nearly 40 years sailing for the cruise line, to take the helm of Rotterdam when the ship enters service in July 2021. Captain Timmers joined Holland America Line in 1984 and has worked on all classes of ship within the brand, most recently as master of Koningsdam.

Captain Timmers will head to Rotterdam in the coming months for sea trials and then relocate to the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, where the ship is being built, to oversee the finishing touches before delivery.

"As one of the longest-serving officers in our fleet with a wealth of experience, we are pleased to name Captain Timmers master of Rotterdam," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "His years of seamanship and hospitability with both guests and crew will continue to create a culture on board that promotes excellence in service and a passion for travel."

Since first joining Holland America Line in 1984 as an intern, Captain Timmers has worked his way up the ranks to captain, which he achieved in 1996. He has since been master of Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Ryndam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam.

"I am deeply honored to be named the first master of Rotterdam, and I look forward to getting on board for the sea trials and seeing the ship come together during the final stages of construction," said Captain Timmers. "My long career with Holland America Line has been filled with so many wonderful milestones, and this appointment is a highlight."

A native Dutchman, Captain Timmers grew up in Roosendaal, the Netherlands. He chose a career at sea in his final year of high school after hearing a seafarer tell tales of adventure during career day. He joined the Nautical Academy in Vlissingen, the Netherlands, and after graduating with a degree in nautical sciences, he obtained a second degree in marine engineering and rejoined Holland America Line as a fourth officer.

When not onboard a ship, Captain Timmers lives with his wife, Sherron, and their two children in Mount Dora, Florida.

The third in the Pinnacle Class series, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests, measure 99,500 gross tons and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi's Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Café. Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with an exclusive collection of world-class performances each night — from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King's Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard.

Throughout the ship, Rotterdam will showcase Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam is the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line and the 17th ship constructed for the brand by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which most recently built Nieuw Statendam.

Following Rotterdam's Premiere Voyage departing Aug. 1, 2021, the ship will spend its inaugural summer season in northern Europe. Naming details have not been finalized and will be announced at a later date.

Princess Cruises Launches Sports Betting at Sea
For the first time ever, sports fans will have the opportunity to wager on sports from the comfort of their cruise ship. Princess Cruises today unveiled Ocean® Sportsbook, a new, real-time sports wagering option onboard its MedallionClass ships, giving guests the opportunity to bet on major sports competitions like professional* and college football, basketball, baseball and hockey as well as a wide variety of other exciting domestic and international events.

When the ship is in international waters, or wherever permitted by law, guests can use the MedallionClass app to wager on a host of major sports competitions, as well as place prop bets during live events taking place during their cruise. Guests also will have the opportunity to place bets on future competitions that occur well after their voyage.

"On Princess MedallionClass cruises our guests can stay connected with their friends and family around the world, and now with Ocean Sportsbook, they can also stay connected to their favorite teams and wager on a host of events whenever they sail with us," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "Taking a cruise vacation no longer means being disconnected from a big game, an iconic event or friends and family."

With more than $20 billion in wagers placed with U.S. sportsbooks in the past two years, sports betting is experiencing extraordinary growth, and is expected to reach more than $155 billion by 2024.1

Built in partnership with software developer, Miomni, Ocean Sportsbook will be available on all Princess MedallionClass ships upon approval to return to service in 2021. The new sportsbook is part of Ocean Casino – a digital experience that lets wagers be placed beyond the casino – stateroom, poolside, spa, and more – on an assortment of games that include blackjack, slots, poker, roulette, bingo, keno and lottery.

Princess MedallionClass vacations are enabled by the award-winning OceanMedallionTM, a wearable device that elevates the guest experience and delivers a high level of service and personalized attention on a large scale, and also features elite level bandwidth with MedallionNet powered by SES, allowing for enhanced connected experiences like Ocean Sportsbook.

"A fully-connected guest experience now goes well beyond a superior Wi-Fi position, and Ocean Sportsbook reinforces the unparalleled position MedallionClass enjoys in the industry," said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. "Wagering is now seamlessly fused into the overall guest experience in both digital and physical interactions all powered by the OCEAN Guest Experience Platform."

In addition to anywhere wagering, Princess MedallionClass Vacations are also marked by touchless embarkation and disembarkation, frictionless commerce, and keyless stateroom entry. Additional contactless capabilities accessible using smart phones and tablets, include shipboard on-demand service delivery; way-finding; family and friends locator; first-run movies and live TV; an interactive events and activities planner; and interactive fun.

*Due to Carnival Corporation's affiliation with the Miami Heat, bets cannot be place in Ocean Sportsbook on NBA events involving the Heat.

PortMiami And Carnival Cruise Line Break Ground On Terminal F
Carnival Cruise Line and PortMiami today held a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of the state-of-the-art Terminal F which will serve as the homeport of Carnival Celebration, the line's next Excel-class ship.

Currently under construction in Finland, Carnival Celebration is set to debut in 2022, as part of the line's 50th birthday festivities.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Carnival President Christine Duffy, along with county commissioners and construction partners, used ceremonial shovels to officially mark the beginning of construction on the expansive 471,000-square-foot facility which will be Carnival's third terminal at the port and its largest in South Florida.

Carnival Cruise Line got its start when the original "Fun Ship," the TSS Mardi Gras, departed on its inaugural voyage from PortMiami in March 1972, starting a nearly 50-year relationship that has seen Carnival grow to become the World's Most Popular Cruise Line and PortMiami earn the distinction as The Cruise Capital of the World.

"I'm grateful to Carnival Cruise Line and Lemartec for their partnership with Miami-Dade County," said Mayor Levine Cava. "Despite the global pandemic, today's groundbreaking is another example of the growth happening at PortMiami – The Cruise Capital of the World – and how together, we can and we will continue to thrive."

"We are proud of Carnival's role in making Miami the cruise capital of the world, and today marks the continuation of an incredible 50-year partnership with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County. This expanded terminal built specifically for Carnival Celebration will make an incredible addition to the existing facilities at our largest embarkation port. My most sincere thanks to Mayor Levine Cava and all of the Miami-Dade officials who made this day possible," said Duffy.

"Both Lemartec and MasTec, like Carnival Cruise Line, are the classic American dream story, born in Miami. We are proud to have been chosen by PortMiami and Miami-Dade County to build this iconic terminal," said Manny García-Tuñón, President of Lemartec Corporation, a MasTec Company, which is serving as the general contractor.

The terminal's clean and open design by will allow for exceptional efficiency and flexibility to accommodate Carnival's newest class of ships, maximizing use of technology to move guests through the embarkation process, providing a seamless boarding experience.

Carnival Celebration will offer a variety of innovations including an onboard roller coaster as well as a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, part of Carnival Corporation's "green cruising platform." The ship will also offer a wide range of accommodation categories with 180 suites across 11 different categories, along with unique innovations created just for this vessel.

Paul Gauguin Cruises Announces 2022 Voyages
Paul Gauguin Cruises operator of the m/s Paul Gauguin, announces its new 2022 schedule featuring Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fiji, and South Pacific itineraries.

The Gauguin will be showcasing its most sought-after itineraries in 2022: the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands, 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus, 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands, and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands.

The Gauguin will also be returning to Fiji in 2022, offering 12-night and 13-night Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands itineraries. These comprehensive voyages follow in the wake of explorers, encompassing the exquisite Society Islands, home waters of The Gauguin, and the Cook Islands with its unique culture and exquisite lagoons. Other highlights include sailing across the International Date Line, a rare visit to the Kingdom of Tonga, and the paradisiacal Fijian islands. Ports of call on the voyages are Papeete, Tahiti; Moorea, Society Islands; Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands; Bora Bora, Society Islands; Aitutaki, Cook Islands; Vava'u, Tonga; Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji; Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji; Beqa Island, Fiji (13-night sailing only); and Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji.

Designed specifically to sail the pristine lagoons of these islands, The Gauguin provides an up-close, authentic experience of the South Seas and offers an elegant yet casual ambiance with luxurious accommodations, exceptional service, gourmet dining, trademark Polynesian hospitality, private beach retreats, and extraordinary all-inclusive value.

To launch its 2022 voyages, Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering savings of 30% off standard cruise fares on all voyages, plus included airfare from Los Angeles.

Paul Gauguin Cruises' top priority has always been to ensure the safety and comfort of its passengers. The health protocols developed by Paul Gauguin Cruises and PONANT exceeds international regulations. The Sail with Confidence booking policy is an extra effort to ensure travelers feel confident booking a well-deserved cruise vacation now without worry should they need to cancel.

Seabourn Previews "Spa & Wellness" on Board New Expedition Ships
Seabourn is building expectations for wellness, pampering and relaxation with the release of details and imagery of Spa & Wellness aboard the line's new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships. Occupying a space all its own on Deck 7, Spa & Wellness has been designed by Adam. D. Tihany and will offer many opportunities for guests to enhance their expedition with physical, social, environmental and spiritual wellbeing through its onboard Mindful Living Program: Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil.

"Spa & Wellness is sure to be a standout space for our guests to embrace feelings of wellbeing in the midst of adventure on expeditions to the wonders of the world on our expedition ships," noted Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Over the past year, wellness has grown in importance in many people's personal lives, and our highly-trained staff will be devoted to providing a robust series of mind and body programs and rejuvenating treatments developed in collaboration with Dr. Weil to ensure travelers can relax, reconnect, and recharge during their time on board."

As conceived by Tihany, who is fashioning the design of interior and exterior guest areas throughout the ships, Spa & Wellness is at once sleek, serene, and inviting. The 3,700-square-foot space integrates the concept of a contemporary 'floating forest,' with details including a textured tree-inspired art mural, light wood-and-bronze material palette, and live wood features to usher guests into the reception area. Striking natural stone flooring plays off muted sage and orange accent colors found throughout the spa, while the branches of the 'floating forest' spread like delicate fingers into four tranquil treatment rooms, each arrayed with neutral, textured wall coverings, light wood, and bronze accents.

Tihany's design touches continue into the spa's yoga and fitness areas, both of which feature an open wall of windows for guests to soak up floor-to-ceiling views of the sparkling seas and coastal panoramas gliding by outside. The spa's sauna will also offer floor-to-ceiling windows, a new design amenity for Seabourn and unique to the expedition ships.

Integral to the Spa & Wellness experience on board will be the popular Mindful Living Program, developed by Dr. Andrew Weil and currently available across the Seabourn fleet. Led by a specially trained Mindful Living Coach, the program will comprise a holistic mind-and-body approach to wellbeing, offering complimentary yoga and guided meditation sessions, as well as illuminating seminars on topics ranging from integrative medicine to nutrition, pain management to creative aging, and more.

Skilled therapists will offer massage for the face and body, as well as detox, cleansing and wrap services. The fitness center within the spa will be outfitted with a range of cardio and strength equipment, with a Fitness Director on hand to offer spot-on assessments and train guests in various fitness regimes. A full-service salon will also be part of the scene, with hair styling, facials, manicures and pedicures available for women and men.

Seabourn Venture is scheduled to launch in December 2021, with the second yet-to-be-named sister ship slated to launch in 2022. Seabourn Venture will sail on a series of 10- to 14-day Norwegian Winter voyages during her inaugural season between December 2021 and April 2022. The itineraries, fares and additional details can be found here.

Both ships will be designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and will include a plethora of modern hardware and technology that will extend the ships global deployment and capabilities. A new and exciting offering will be two custom-built submarines carried onboard, providing an unforgettable view of the world beneath the ocean's surface. The ships will also be designed to carry expedition kayaks and 24 Zodiacs that can accommodate all onboard guests at once, which will allow for a truly immersive experience. Both expedition vessels will feature an onboard crew that will include outstanding and well-traveled expedition teams comprised of highly regarded wilderness experts, scientists, historians and naturalists. These fascinating, accomplished experts are also part of the Seabourn Conversations program, providing in-depth insights into the history, ecology, and culture of the places they visit. Each ship will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront suites with furnished verandas.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.80 - 2.19%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 65.75 - 3.90%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.275 + 1.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 22.40 - 6.55%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Few ocean liners or cruise ships end up preserved like the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Most end up in very different circumstances. Whatever happened to Cunard's famous Caronia of 1948?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the last cruise ship to sail the Haifa to New York route for Israel's Zim lines

Answer - The last Zim ship to sail from Haifa to NYC was the Shalom, which was most recently laid up as Regent Sun.
courtesy of Jonas Ekstam, Stockholm, Sweden


Cruise News - January 25, 2021

Princess Cruises Announces Sale of Pacific Princess to Sycamore Partners/Azamara
Princess Cruises today announced the sale of Pacific Princess to Sycamore Partners. The sale of the cruise ship is in line with parent company Carnival Corporation's plan to accelerate the removal of less efficient ships from its fleet.

Sycamore Partners is in the process of acquiring Azamara and the former Pacific Princess will join the Azamara fleet as a fourth ship. "This addition, pending the close of the transaction announced earlier this month that Sycamore Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Azamara, marks our new future of growth as well as new opportunities to reach more destinations and communities than ever before," said Carol Cabezas, Chief Operating Officer, Azamara, in a statement.

"Sycamore Partners has purchased the Pacific Princess, a former R-class ship comparable in size to our three sister ships. Just like Azamara Journey, Azamara Quest, and Azamara Pursuit, our newest addition will be able to sail into intimate rivers, visit smaller, as well as less-crowded ports other vessels can’t access," she said.

Pacific Princess first joined the cruise line's fleet in 2002, and originally entered service in 1999 as R3 for Renaissance Cruises. The boutique-style ship offered an intimate cruising environment, with a total of just 670 passengers, but incorporated many of the dining and entertainment options available on the cruise line's larger cruise vessels.

Beloved by many loyal Princess guests, Pacific Princess sailed more than 1.6 Million nautical miles, 11 World Cruises and offered distinctive itineraries to sought-after destinations all over the world. In fact, The Love Boat's "Captain Stubing" and Princess Cruises Ambassador Gavin MacLeod was on the ship's navigation bridge as the ship sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time to kick off the inaugural season sailing to Alaska from San Francisco in May 2003.

"Pacific Princess holds so many memories and cherished experiences to all who sailed upon her," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Pacific Princess offered a traditional style of cruising to unique destinations. While it's difficult to say goodbye to our 'Love Boat,' our World Cruise and exotic itineraries continue onboard our Medallion Class-enabled Island Princess and Coral Princess, featuring the best Wi-Fi at sea, allowing guests to keep in touch with loved ones and share vacation memories along the way."

Another historic moment for Pacific Princess was sailing a throwback cruise, recreating the cruise line's very first itinerary to the iconic Mexican Riviera in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Princess Cruises on December 3, 2015. Attending this special cruise included the cast of "The Love Boat," - Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Fred Grandy (Gopher, the chief purser), Ted Lange (Isaac, the bartender), Bernie Kopell (Doc, the ship's doctor), Lauren Tewes (cruise director, Julie) and Jill Whelan (Vicki, the captain's daughter). Together with the guests, they celebrated the role the show played in Princess Cruises' five-decade-long history introducing the cruise line – and cruise vacations – to millions of people around the world.

Guests with bookings will be notified, and along with their travel advisors, will receive information on how to book another Princess Cruise when operations resume. Guests who prefer a refund will be accommodated.

Costa Resumes Its Cruise Program In Italy From March 13 With Costa Smeralda
Following a careful evaluation of the measures contained in the Italian government decree currently in force in Italy, Costa Crociere has decided to postpone the restart of its ships to March 13, 2021.

The company believes that the current set of restrictive measures does not allow its guests to enjoy an adequate on-shore experience and the ability to fully explore the itinerary's destinations.

Costa Cruises supports the collective effort that Italy is making to deal with the health emergency and looks forward to mid-March for its return to offering its guests a relaxing and enjoyable vacation experience.

Costa will resume operations on March 13 with Costa Smeralda, which will sail guests to some of Italy's most beautiful destinations with 3- and 4-day mini-cruises, or a 7-day cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.

All cruises originally scheduled on Costa Deliziosa, Costa Firenze and Costa Luminosa between February 1 and March 12, 2021, are cancelled. The new programs for these three ships will be announced shortly. Costa is in the process of informing travel agencies and guests affected by the changes.

Carnival Cruise Line Notifies Guests Of Cruise Cancellation Through April 2021
Carnival Cruise Line is notifying guests of additional cruise cancellations, extending its pause in U.S. departures through April 30, 2021, and cancelling Australian operations through May 19, 2021.

In addition, Carnival has cancelled the European itineraries for Carnival Legend which were to begin this May through Oct. 31, 2021, and moved the start date for Mardi Gras from Port Canaveral, with the first cruise now set for May 29, 2021.

Booked guests and travel agents are being notified directly of the cancellations and their options for a generous future cruise credit and onboard credit package, or a full refund.

"Our guests and travel agent partners continue to express their loyalty to Carnival and their desire to get back on our ships as soon as they can, and we are heartened by the booking demand and activity we continue to see. We are certainly committed to welcoming them back as quickly as possible, but unfortunately we have determined it's going to take a while longer, and the situation in Europe will also impact Mardi Gras' departure to the U.S., and Carnival Legend's itineraries in Europe," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Cruise Line Releases Additional Plans On Fleet Deployment
Carnival Cruise Line today released plans for additional ship deployments as it continues to refine its phased in approach to a return to guest operations for 2021, resulting in some ship-specific cruise cancellations and movements. Those plans include:

• Related to already-announced dry dock plans for Carnival Magic, Carnival Paradise and Carnival Valor, those ships' return to operations will be delayed until November 2021. Consequently, voyages on Carnival Magic from Norfolk (embarkations from Sept. 29-Oct. 30), Carnival Paradise from Tampa (embarkations from June 5-Oct. 28) and Carnival Valor from New Orleans (embarkations from Sept. 16-Oct. 28) have been cancelled.

• Carnival Miracle's planned seasonal service from San Diego has been suspended until further notice, and sailings out of San Diego that were available for sale through April 2023 have been cancelled, with the exception of seven voyages to Hawaii, which will move to Long Beach.

• Carnival Radiance's dry dock and transformation has been moved to September, with a planned arrival to Long Beach in November 2021.

• With Carnival Miracle's reposition to Long Beach, the ship will assume the three- and four-day itineraries for Carnival Radiance from May 3-Nov. 1, 2021 as well as the seven Hawaii Carnival Journeys referenced above. In addition, Carnival Miracle will launch a new program of four- and five-day cruises to Mexico during the winter season, beginning November 2021 and continuing through April 2023.

Carnival is advising guests and travel agents of these changes. Where possible, West Coast guests are being accommodated in a transfer to Carnival Miracle (from Carnival Radiance), or the retention of their Hawaiian itinerary via a Long Beach embarkation instead. With this change, Carnival will eventually run a three-ship operation from its port facility at Long Beach: Carnival Panorama sailing seven-day Mexican Riviera itineraries and Carnival Radiance operating three- and four-day itineraries year-round, with Carnival Miracle operating four- and five-day Mexico and 14-day Hawaii itineraries during the winter.

"Like so much about this current global situation, we are adapting our plans as circumstances evolve and we are able to confirm alternatives. We are disappointed that our return to seasonal ports like Norfolk and San Diego has been impacted and appreciate the support of those port partners and communities. The support of our guests, travel agents, ports and business partners has truly been overwhelming as we work through this situation," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Holland America Line Announces Bucket List Grand World Voyages
Holland America Line's Grand Voyages are made for dreamers, adventurers and explorers seeking to discover new cultures and illuminating experiences. The quest for destination immersion continues with Holland America Line's 2022 Grand Africa Voyage, 2023 Grand World Voyage and 2023 Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage.

A Holland America Line Grand Voyage is the pinnacle of cruising. Ranging from 71 to 127 days, these longer journeys take travelers to the far corners of the world across six continents, all roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, without the need for international air travel. Memorable experiences highlight each cruise — from a visit to Antarctica's otherworldly landscapes to spying Africa's "Big Five" on safari.

2022 Grand Africa Voyage Highlights
Africa is a continent of riches, from the rolling grasslands of the savanna to the pristine beaches of the Seychelles. Travelers on the Grand Africa Voyage are in for an experience unlike any other, and with Holland America Line at the helm it will be a memorable journey — guaranteed.

• 71 days. Departs Oct. 10, 2022, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale aboard Zaandam on a clockwise navigation around the continent.

• 4 overnight calls: Aqaba, Jordan; Cape Town, South Africa (two nights); Zanzibar, Tanzania; and Victoria, Seychelles.

• 25 ports in 21 countries and territories, in the order of calls: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Seychelles, Tanzania, Mayotte, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Cape Verde, Puerto Rico.

• A memorable daylight transit of the Suez Canal en route to Aqaba, Jordan, for the opportunity to travel to the Lost City of Petra.

• Safari and wildlife opportunities include Serengeti National Park, Maasi Mara Reserve, Ngorongoro Crater, Tsavo National Park, Jozani Forest Reserve, Lokobe National Park, the Black Lemur Sanctuary, Kruger National Park, Phinda Mountain Lodge and Thanda Private Game Reserve.

• Two days at Cape Town, South Africa, to explore Table Mountain, Nelson Mandela's prison cell, Chapman's Peak Drive, Kulala Desert Lodge and more.

2023 Grand World Voyage Highlights
There's no better way to see the world than on a Holland America Line Grand World Voyage, recognized as the 2020 Travel Weekly Readers' Choice for Best World Cruise Itinerary and 2020 TravelAge West Editor's Pick for Best World Cruise. More ports, longer stays, immersive overnights ashore.

• 127 days. Departing Jan. 3, 2023, aboard Zaandam roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on an itinerary that circles the globe on a westwardly route.

• Zaandam crosses the South Pacific to New Zealand and Australia before sailing up the west coast of Africa and charting a path through Northern Europe.

• 61 ports in 30 countries and island nations: Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Panama, French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, Mauritius, Réunion, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, France, England, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Scotland and Ireland.

• 8 overnight calls: Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama; Papeete, Tahiti; Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth), Australia; Cape Town, South Africa; and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

• 20 calls around the African continent with numerous opportunities for overland safari experiences.

2023 Grand South America & Antarctica Highlights
South America is a land of contrasts. In the north, lush rain forest canopies reach as far as the eye can see, while in the south snow-capped mountains make for a stunning backdrop to the ultimate circumnavigation of the continent.

• 74 days. Departing Jan. 3, 2023, aboard Volendam roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on an itinerary that circles the continent on a counterclockwise route.

• 34 ports in 16 countries and island nations across two continents: Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Antarctica, Falkland Islands, Uruguay, Brazil, French Guiana, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bahamas.

• 5 overnight calls: Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama; Manaus and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina (two nights); Callao (Lima), Peru (two nights).

• Daylight transit of the Panama Canal and overland opportunities to visit Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, Patagonia and Iguazu Falls.

• Four days of spectacular scenic cruising in the icescapes of Antarctica.

• Additional scenic cruising includes the Chilean Fjords, Strait of Magellan, Amalia or Brujo Glacier, Cockburn and Beagle channels, Glacier Alley and Cape Horn.

• 12 calls in Brazil and a journey along the Amazon River to Manaus.

A Grand Onboard Experience
On a Grand Voyage, evening shipboard activities shine with local cultural entertainment and special guest headliners. Festive gala balls and formal nights create memorable moments, along with an exclusive Captain's Grand Voyage Dinner for full-cruise guests. Dining is elevated to a new level on each Grand Voyage with menus that change daily and are seldom repeated, featuring local ingredients and regional cuisine.

Viking Announces New Nile River Ship For 2022
Viking today announced an expansion of its Egypt fleet with Viking Aton, a new state-of-the-art river vessel. Inspired by the design of the award-winning Viking Longships and built specifically to navigate the Nile River, Viking Aton is currently under construction and is scheduled to debut in September 2022. Sailing on Viking's popular Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary, the new vessel will join Viking's existing Egypt river fleet, which includes its identical sister ship Viking Osiris and Viking's first owned and operated ship on the Nile, Viking Ra.

"Egypt remains a top destination for many of our guests who are inspired to discover the rich history and beauty of the region," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We will always maintain our commitment to creating meaningful experiences that are focused on the destination. The addition of Viking Aton is a reflection of our continued investment in Egypt; we look forward to introducing the country's cultural treasures to even more Viking guests in the future."

Viking Aton

Hosting 82 guests in 41 staterooms, Viking Aton will be a state-of-the-art ship with the clean, elegant Scandinavian design for which Viking is known. Viking Aton's features include all outside staterooms with river views; spacious suites with two full-size rooms and verandas; a pool and sun deck with 360-degree views; Viking Lounge with floor-to-ceiling glass doors; and Viking's revolutionary Aquavit Terrace ideal for al fresco dining and indoor/outdoor viewing along the Nile River. Viking Aton will join the company's other ships on the Nile, Viking Osiris, which is set to launch in 2021, and Viking Ra, which launched in 2018. Viking is the first and only Western company to build, own and operate ships on the Nile.

Pharaohs & Pyramids

During the 12-day, Pharaohs & Pyramids cruisetour itinerary, guests begin with a three-night stay at a first-class hotel in Cairo, where guests can visit iconic sites such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the necropolis of Sakkara and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Guests then fly to Luxor, where they visit the Temples of Luxor and Karnak before boarding a Viking river ship for an eight-day roundtrip cruise on the Nile River, featuring Privileged Access to the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens and the tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings, and excursions to the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena, the temples at Abu Simbel and the High Dam in Aswan, and a visit to a colorful Nubian village, where guests can experience a traditional elementary school. Finally, the journey concludes with a flight back to Cairo for a final night in the ancient city.

For guests looking to extend their journey, Viking also offers Pre and Post-Cruise Extensions that provide Privileged Access to archives and exhibits. Building on the success of the Oxford & Highclere Castle program – one of Viking's highest-rated Pre/Post Extension that visits the filming location of "Downton Abbey" – the company has applied the same degree of Privileged Access to a new curated Pre-Cruise Extensions that allows guests to retrace the steps of the world's most famous Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his benefactor, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Guests on the five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt extension will begin the journey in London, where they will meet their Viking Tour Director, an expert Egyptologist, and experience Privileged Access to two museums: first a private, early morning visit to the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum before it opens to the general public – and then a visit to the home and personal museum of world-renowned architect, Sir John Soane, where the tour will be illuminated by candlelight, a re-enactment of how Soane entertained guests and showcased his exquisite collection of Egyptian antiquities, including a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus. Guests will also visit London's Petrie Museum, which houses more than 80,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt and Sudan. In Oxford, guests will visit the Ashmolean Museum, one of the oldest in the world, and home to a varied collection of Egyptian mummies and art – and go behind the scenes at Oxford University's Griffith Institute, where they will enjoy a Privileged Access visit to see Carter's archives, which detail the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. Lastly, guests will have further Privileged Access with an exclusive visit to Highclere Castle – the country seat of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon – to view the Earl's magnificent private collection of Egyptian artifacts, as well as archives and exhibits not normally accessible to the public.

Additional offerings include a Pre-Cruise Extension in Jerusalem where guests will explore the ancient history and vibrant culture of Israel's fascinating capital and a Post-Cruise Extension to Jordan – Petra, Dead Sea & Amman to view Roman antiquities at Jerash, Crusader-era castles at Kerak or Shobak and experience the lost city of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.22 - 7.55%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 68.42 - 6.17%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.270 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 23.97 - 5.56%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the last cruise ship to sail the Haifa to New York route for Israel's Zim lines

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Back in the 1970's, Holland America's Rotterdam sailed on a popular, warm weather itinerary from New York City. What was the name of this "run" and what ports did she visit?

Answer - That's the old "Bermuda Triangle" Run that the Rotterdam used to make, with great success a few decades back! From New York she visited Bermuda and the Bahamas.
courtesy of Robert Johnson, Washington DC


Cruise News - January 18, 2021

Royal Caribbean Selling Azamara
Royal Caribbean Group today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Azamara brand to Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm specializing in consumer, retail and distribution investments, in an all-cash carve-out transaction for $201 million, subject to certain adjustments and closing conditions. Sycamore Partners will acquire the entire Azamara brand, including its three-ship fleet and associated intellectual property. The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

Royal Caribbean Group noted the transaction allows it to focus on expanding its Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea brands.

"Our strategy has evolved into placing more of our resources behind three global brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea, and working to grow them as we emerge from this unprecedented period," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Group. "Even so, Azamara remains a strong brand with its own tremendous potential for growth, and Sycamore's track record demonstrates that they will be good stewards of what the Azamara team has built over the past 13 years."

"We are pleased that Royal Caribbean Group has entrusted Sycamore to support Azamara in its next phase of growth," said Stefan Kaluzny, Managing Director of Sycamore Partners. "We are excited to partner with the Azamara team and build on their many years of success serving the brand's loyal customers. We believe Azamara will remain a top choice for discerning travelers as the cruising industry recovers over time."

Azamara's value proposition and operations will remain consistent under the new arrangement, and Royal Caribbean Group will work in close collaboration on a seamless transition for Azamara employees, customers and other stakeholders. In conjunction with the transaction, Azamara Chief Operating Officer Carol Cabezas has been appointed President of the brand.

The transaction will result in a one-time, non-cash impairment charge of approximately $170 million. The sale of Azamara is not expected to have a material impact on Royal Caribbean Group's future financial results.

Perella Weinberg Partners LP served as financial advisor to Royal Caribbean Group and?Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP?provided legal counsel. Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal advice to Sycamore Partners.

Costa Cruises Celebrates Float-Out Ceremony For Costa Toscana
Costa Cruises today celebrated the float-out ceremony of the new flagship Costa Toscana at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland.

Costa Toscana, as her sister ship Costa Smeralda, is powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the marine industry's most advanced fuel technology currently available for reducing emissions, both at sea and during port calls. Costa Group, which includes Costa Cruises, Germany-based AIDA Cruises and Costa Asia, was the first in the cruise industry worldwide to introduce this technology, having ordered five new LNG-powered ships, two of which, Costa Smeralda and AIDAnova, have already entered service. They are part of an expansion plan that includes seven new ships to be delivered to Costa Group by 2023, for a total investment of more than six billion euros.

During the float-out ceremony, Costa Toscana officially touched the sea for the first time, with the flooding of the basin where she has been built in recent months. She will enter service in December 2021, once the interior fittings have been completed.

Mario Zanetti, chief commercial officer of Costa Cruises and president of Costa Group Asia, commented: "Despite the current challenging scenario, Costa Group is confirming its investment in fleet expansion. We are confident in the recovery of our industry, and we are excited about the arrival of new ships like Costa Toscana, which embodies the elements we want to focus on for the future. First of all, it is an excellent and innovative ship, attractive for new customers, which is going to be fundamental, especially when people will be able to freely travel again and will have a great desire for holidays. Looking beyond the pandemic, the second element we are focusing on is to complete the transformation of our fleet and operations into a sustainable model. In addition to LNG technology, we are developing other innovative solutions, such as shore power and batteries, as we continue to work towards achieving zero emissions over time."

"The float-out is always a very special occasion for us shipbuilders, as the ship is finally set to her natural environment. As this is also the start of the final stage of shipbuilding, all the exciting colors, venues and features will start taking their final form. In the coming months she will be finalized at the pier and then tested and commissioned in the autumn for delivery," CEO of Meyer Turku, Tim Meyer, said.

Costa Toscana has been designed to be a traveling "smart city," where sustainable solutions and circular economy concepts are applied to reduce environmental impact. Thanks to the use of LNG, it will be possible to virtually eliminate emissions of sulfur dioxide (zero emissions) and particulate matter into the atmosphere (95-100% reduction), while also significantly lowering emissions of nitrogen oxides (direct reduction of 85%) and CO2 (up to 20%). On board, special desalinisation plants will process seawater directly to meet daily water supply requirements, and energy consumption will be reduced to a minimum thanks to an intelligent energy efficiency system. In addition, 100% separate collection and recycling of materials such as plastic, paper, glass and aluminum will be carried out on board, as part of an integrated approach aimed at supporting circular economy projects.

The new flagship is a tribute to Tuscany, the result of an extraordinarily creative project, curated by Adam D. Tihany, designed to enhance and bring to life in a single location reflecting the best of this wonderful Italian region, which gives its name to the ship, its decks and main public areas.

Tihany has worked with an international pool of prestigious architectural firms – Dordoni Architetti, Jeffrey Beers International and Partner Ship Design – to design the different areas of the ship. All the furnishings, lighting, fabrics and accessories are made in Italy, whether standard produced or designed specifically for the new flagship by 15 partners who are highly representative of Italian excellence.

The facilities on board will fit perfectly into this extraordinary setting: from the Solemio Spa to the areas dedicated to entertainment; from the themed bars, in collaboration with major Italian brands, to the 16 restaurants and areas dedicated to the "food experience," including the restaurant dedicated to families with children, and the LAB Restaurant, where you can try your cooking skills under the guidance of Costa's chefs.

The "heart" of the new flagship will be the "Colosseo," a space in the centre of the ship spread over three decks, dedicated to the best shows. The big screens, positioned both on the walls and on the dome, offer the possibility of creating a different story in every port of call and in every moment of the holiday.

Also not to be missed is the large stairway on three decks facing astern: the ideal place for entertaining guests, both young and old, with an open-air balcony on the top deck featuring a crystal floor that lets you experience the thrill of "flying" over the sea.

To relax and enjoy the sun there will be four swimming pools, one of which will be indoors with salt water, with a new beach club, which will recreate the atmosphere of a real bathing establishment.

Comfortable and elegant, the more than 2,600 cabins on board perfectly reflect Italian style and taste. The "Sea Terrace" cabins will offer a beautiful veranda where you can have breakfast, sip an aperitif or simply enjoy the view.

Costa Toscana will make its debut in Brazil in the 2021-22 season. In particular, the inaugural New Year's Eve cruise will depart from Santos on Dec. 26, 2021, with a week-long itinerary visiting Salvador and Ilhéus, and returning to Santos on Jan. 2, 2022. From Jan. 2 to April 10, 2022, Costa Toscana will offer another 15 cruises with the same itinerary, embarking in Santos and Salvador. The 15 cruises also include the Carnival and Easter departures, which will be the ship's last cruise before the Brazil-Italy crossing, departing from Santos on April 17, 2022.

Royal Caribbean Launches New Adventures From Barbados
Royal Caribbean International will for the first time call Barbados "home" next winter, offering travelers fresh ways to experience the southern Caribbean on Grandeur of the Seas. Three distinct 7- and 14-night itineraries will each feature a unique lineup of bucket-list destinations – including three new ports of call in the islands of Tobago, Trinidad and St. Vincent. Showcasing the natural beauty and cultures of the region, weeklong sailings will island hop to a different destination every day or offer late-night stays in the famed ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. Grandeur's longer escapes will tout an overnight stay in Aruba coupled with visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, among others.

"We are excited to grow our longstanding partnership with Barbados and introduce Bridgetown as Royal Caribbean's newest home port. Sailing from the heart of the Windward Islands unlocks new memorable vacations to share with family and friends in breathtaking places, such as Grenada, St. Lucia, and now St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "The pink-sand beaches and unexpected adventures across Barbados also make it an ideal destination for our guests to experience even more of the Caribbean charm and culture before or after their cruise."

"After the year the industry and region have had, this is a shining light to look forward to this coming winter season. We have wanted to see for some time more homeporting operations from Barbados, the incorporation of pre- and post-stay vacations which expose cruisers to the best Barbados has to offer and at a regional level, the development of new itineraries that elevates the cruise experience throughout the Caribbean," said Senator the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism and International Transport for Barbados. "So, we are extremely pleased to extend the welcome mat for Grandeur of the Seas to Barbados. We are looking forward to displaying our Bajan hospitality, wide range of accommodations, rich culture, diversity of experiences, world class cuisine, unique attractions, and especially want to share the warmth of the Barbadian people. These are the things that keep visitors coming back for more!"

Barbados is known for its rich history and celebrated for its kind and hospitable people – a defining Bajan trait passed on for almost 400 years and still strong today. Adventure-seekers looking to discover the Bajan island vibe will have diverse experiences to choose from across the country's 11 parishes – a mix of coastal, rural and urban neighborhoods, some sophisticated and luxurious, others immersive and based in nature. Spanning 166 square miles between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, the island affectionately known as "Little England" is chock-full of natural and cultural heritage to satisfy wanderlust of all types.

Royal Caribbean's new 2021-22 winter cruises from Bridgetown, Barbados open for sale today. The itineraries depart on Sundays and ports of call for each are:

• 7-night Southern Caribbean Island Hop: Departing Bridgetown, Barbados (new) and visiting Scarborough, Tobago (new); Port of Spain, Trinidad (new); St. George's, Grenada; Kingstown, St. Vincent (new); Roseau, Dominica; and Castries, St. Lucia

• 7-night Southern Caribbean Adventure: Departing Bridgetown, Barbados (new) and visiting St. George's, Grenada; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; and Port of Spain, Trinidad (new)

• 14-night Ultimate Caribbean: Departing Bridgetown, Barbados (new) and visiting St. George's, Grenada; Kingstown, St. Vincent (new); Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba (overnight); Willemstad, Curacao; Port of Spain, Trinidad (new); Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

Royal Caribbean's inaugural season sailing from Barbados adds even more variety to the cruise line's current 2021-22 winter season. New departure ports and destinations will bring a breadth of fresh experiences for travelers to make the most of their highly anticipated vacations.

Oceania Cruises Releases 180-Day 2023 World Voyage
Today, Oceania Cruises, the world's leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, unveiled its 2023 Around The World in 180 Days voyage which opens for public sale on January 27th.

Departing San Francisco on January 15, 2023, world travelers sailing on this voyage aboard the 684-guest Insignia will experience 96 fascinating destinations in 33 countries across four continents. Guests will have myriad in-depth and immersive experiences with multi-day stays in 20 ports of call from South America to Africa to Asia and Alaska as well as the unprecedented opportunity to witness the splendor of Antarctica first-hand with three full days cruising in Admiralty Bay, Paradise Bay, and Half Moon Island.

"We now know how irreplaceable these experiences are and cherish the privilege of travel more than ever," stated Bob Binder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceania Cruises. "Travel connects us through shared experiences, creates lifelong bonds, and enriches us in ways we never would have imagined. That was the mindset that guided us in crafting this epic around the world voyage for our guests."

The itinerary provides access to more than 60 UNESCO World Heritage sites and guests sailing the full world voyage will have the opportunity to take part infive included shoreside events.

• An Argentinian Cultural Exposition in Buenos Aires including an equestrian show and tango lessons, fine food and wine, capped off by a grand display of music and dance.

• An afternoon at the renowned Boschendal Winery in Cape Town with an elaborate farmer's market featuring exquisite cuisine, Boschendal's acclaimed wines and live music.

• An evening at Al Maha Desert Dune in the Arabian Desert outside of Dubai where guests take part in the ultimate Bedouin experience featuring tribal music and dance, a private falcon show and an amazing dinner under the stars catered by the famed Al Maha Luxury Resort and Spa.

• A Burmese Monk Donation Ceremony in Yangon, Myanmar. Duringhis once-in-a-lifetime experience guests have the privilege to witness one of the most sacred rituals of Buddhism – the Donation Ceremony, where we will make a special contribution in support of more than 200 robed monks present along with more than 100 villagers. After the ceremony, guests will enjoy an elaborate spread of canapes and refreshments accompanied by traditional music and dance.

• A candlelit evening at Vung Duc Cave in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay outside of Hanoi. The evening starts off with a captivating welcome Dragon Dance followed by an ethereal candlelit dinner show featuring local entertainers and music. Guests will be treated to an elaborate feast of local delicacies accompanied by specially selected wine pairings.

Voyage Highlights

• Continents visited: 4

• Countries visited: 33

• Time zones crossed: 24

• Islands visited: 27

• Ports visited: 96

• UNESCO World Heritage sites accessible: 61

• Overnight stays (including two-night stays): 20

• Oceans cruised: 3

• Seas cruised: 14

• Number of times equator crossed: 4

• Largest population: Tokyo, Japan

• Smallest population: Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

All guests on the Around the World in 180 Days voyage will receive their choice of 64 FREE shore excursions, or a FREE beverage package, or a FREE $6,400 shipboard credit.

In addition to the extraordinary value of the inclusions listed above, all guests will receive Oceania Cruises' Exclusive Prestige Package which includes:

• Free first-class roundtrip airfare from more than two dozen select North American air gateways

• Free pre-paid gratuities – a value up to $8,200

• Free onboard medical care

• Free unlimited internet

• Free laundry services

• Free exclusive shoreside events

• Free visa package

• Free luggage delivery for guests from the U.S. and Canada

• Free 1-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay in the port of embarkation

• Free roundtrip transfers for all guests and for residents within 50 miles from the cruise departure port

Savor the Experience and Sail Longer

For guests who wish to extend their travels, Oceania Cruises offers travelers the ability to extend their Around The World experience up to a total of 218 days.

January 15, 2023 – 180 Days – San Francisco to San Francisco

January 15, 2023 – 200 Days – San Francisco to New York

December 28, 2022 – 198 Days – Miami to San Francisco

December 28, 2022 – 214 Days – Miami to Miami

December 28, 2022 – 218 Days – Miami to New York

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.79 + 3.23%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 72.92 + 1.11%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.270 + 1.89%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.38 + 5.14%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Back in the 1970's, Holland America's Rotterdam sailed on a popular, warm weather itinerary from New York City. What was the name of this "run" and what ports did she visit?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which classic liner included among her amenities: 20 dog kennels - each carpeted with running water - and a replica New York City fire hydrant for her canine passengers?

Answer - The classic liner that included among her amenities 20 dog kennels and a replica New York City fire hydrant was the France of 1962.
courtesy of Mike Schaeffer


Cruise News - January 11, 2021

First Steel Cut for New Carnival Celebration
The maritime tradition to mark the first steel cut for a new ship took place for Carnival Celebration at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, as Carnival Cruise Line prepares for its next Excel-class ship that will debut next year.

A sister ship to the highly anticipated Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration is scheduled to begin sailing from PortMiami in November 2022, part of Carnival Cruise Line’s year-long 50th birthday festivities.

Following the ceremony – which was attended by Carnival’s Senior Vice President of New Builds Ben Clement and Meyer Turku’s CEO Tim Meyer – work officially began on Carnival Celebration’s innovative offerings, many of which have made Mardi Gras one of the most anticipated ships in cruising. Like Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration will also include BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, along with unique design features created specifically for this vessel, and new signature venues that will be specific to this ship.

“The steel-cutting ceremony marks the beginning of yet another exciting chapter for Carnival Cruise Line. Not only will Carnival Celebration feature signature amenities from Mardi Gras but usher in a new era for Carnival Cruise Line with some special innovations created just for her that we’re sure our guests will enjoy,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We’re equally excited about Carnival Celebration’s role in our 50th birthday festivities which will serve as an unforgettable way for our fans to mark this exciting milestone in our company’s history.”

Carnival Celebration is scheduled to debut in November 2022 and will offer year-round service from PortMiami’s new Terminal F being constructed specifically for Carnival Cruise Line. The addition of Carnival Celebration to Miami will maintain PortMiami’s position as the top embarkation port for Carnival Cruise Line.

Royal Caribbean Extends Suspension Of Cruising
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) continues to focus on the healthy and safe return to cruising for guests, crew and the communities we visit. As we work closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government authorities around the world toward this shared goal, we are extending the suspension of certain sailings for our cruise lines.

The following schedule reflects adjustments to our upcoming 2021 itineraries.

Royal Caribbean International:

• Suspending sailings through April 30, including Spectrum of the Seas from Feb. 16 through Feb. 28

• Excluding Quantum of the Seas

Celebrity Cruises:

• Suspending sailings through April 30, including the May 1 transatlantic cruise on Celebrity Apex

• May through Oct. 2021 Europe and transatlantic cruises on Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Constellation will also be suspended

Silversea Cruises:

• Suspending through April 1

Azamara:

• Suspending sailings through April 30

Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas resumed sailing in Singapore last month with the local government’s CruiseSafe Certification. The certification confirms the three- and four-night Ocean Getaways meet the comprehensive health and safety requirements developed by the Singapore government.

Royal Caribbean Group continues to work with our Healthy Sail Panel of globally recognized scientific and medical experts to come back stronger, and we look forward to welcoming our guests back on board.

AIDA Cruises Extends Pause Of Its Cruise Season Until End Of February 2021
The extension of the lockdown in Germany until at least Jan. 31, 2021, and a further tightening of the measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the restriction of the radius of movement in areas with high incidence rates or the further limitation of private contacts, have led to further restrictions of public life and international travel.

As a result, AIDA Cruises unfortunately must cancel all seven-day cruises with AIDAperla and AIDAmar around the Canary Islands through the end of Feb. 2021.

The company hopes to continue the Canary Islands season as of March 6, 2021, after the infection situation in Germany has eased significantly.

For all other countries in the winter destinations of AIDA Cruises, the call of cruise ships is not permitted until further notice. Therefore, AIDA unfortunately must also cancel all cruises with AIDAprima in the Orient planned for winter 2021, including the transit voyage from Dubai to Palma (Mallorca).

The first Mediterranean cruise with AIDAstella will start on March 6, 2021.

AIDAsol will cast off for its first trip to the metropolises of Northern Europe on March 6, 2021, as well.

The transit cruise with AIDAsol from Palma (Mallorca) to Hamburg planned for Feb. 19, 2021 has to be canceled, as well as the voyages to Norway with AIDAcara and AIDAaura between Feb. 20 up to and including April 3, 2021 (AIDAcara) and March 27, 2021 (AIDAaura).

All guests whose voyage cannot take place as originally scheduled will be informed immediately.

AIDA very much wants guests to enjoy their long-awaited AIDA holidays at a later date. To this end, the company offers rebooking options from its diverse range of cruises.

Holland America Announces 2021-2022 Caribbean Cruise Season
Beyond the balmy breezes and crystalline waters of the Caribbean, the vibrant cultures of the islands await to be discovered on a Holland America Line cruise during the 2021-2022 season. Ranging from seven to 21 days, guests will have their pick of six of the line's premium, mid-sized ships — including Rotterdam in its debut season in the Caribbean — all conveniently sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Holland America Line's vast offerings between October 2021 and April 2022 feature three- to 14-day itineraries to the eastern, western and southern regions of the Caribbean, including sailings that spend a day discovering the Panama Canal. In addition to Rotterdam, guests can choose a Caribbean cruise on Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Volendam and one holiday sailing on Zaandam.

Half Moon Cay: Best Private Island & Highest Rated Caribbean Port
All of the itineraries include a call at Half Moon Cay, affording guests more opportunities to experience Holland America Line's award-winning private Bahamian island. Both Porthole Cruise Magazine and Travel Weekly readers have named Half Moon Cay the industry's Best Private Island, and it is Holland America Line's highest-rated Caribbean port call by its guests. This quintessential and quaint sanctuary has evolved into a playground for cruise guests and features the finest beaches in the Caribbean; a natural 700-acre lagoon; two-story villas and private cabanas; delicious dining venues like Lobster Shack; a children's waterpark; and a variety of fun-filled shore excursions for nature lovers, adventurous travelers and explorers.

Maiden Season in the Caribbean for Rotterdam
Holland America Line's newest ship kicks off the Caribbean season with three- and four-day samplers. The four-day departs Nov. 3 and calls at Half Moon Cay and Key West Florida, and the three-day departs Nov. 7 and calls at Half Moon Cay. With the most varied options of the season, Rotterdam will then sail a series of cruises that include tropical, western, eastern and southern itineraries ranging from six to 11 days.

Holland America Line's ships explore the treasures of the Caribbean on a variety of routes:

Bahamas Sampler:

Ports: Half Moon Cay and Nassau, Bahamas

Length: Three, four or five days

Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Rotterdam

Eastern Caribbean:

Ports: Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; Half Moon Cay

Length: Seven days

Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam

Western Caribbean:

Ports: Combination of Belize City, Belize; Falmouth and Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; Half Moon Cay, Nassau

Length: Seven or eight days

Ships: Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam

Southern Caribbean:

Ports: Combination of Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Bridgetown, Barbados; Oranjestad, Aruba; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Willemstad, Curaçao; Philipsburg, Sint Maarten; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Castries, Saint Lucia; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe; Saint Georges, Grenada; Port-of-Spain, Trinidad; Half Moon Cay, San Juan, St. Thomas

Length: Seven, nine, 10, 11 or 14 days

Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Zaandam

Tropical Caribbean:

Ports: Amber Cove, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay,

Length: Six or seven days

Ships: Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam

Partial Panama Canal:

Ports: Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Aruba, Curaçao, Half Moon Cay, Panama Canal partial transit (Gatun Lake/scenic cruising)

Length: 10 or 11 days

Ship: Eurodam

Combine Back-to-Back Cruises for Longer Collectors' Voyages
Many of the cruises can be extended into Collectors' Voyages to create the ultimate Caribbean exploration with more economical fares than if booking the cruises individually. Ranging from 13 to 21 days, these longer journeys combine nonrepeating, back-to-back itineraries, allowing guests to span more than one Caribbean region and enjoy the ultimate island-hopping journey.

Celebrate the Season with a Festive Holiday Cruise

Travelers who like to get away for the winter holidays have nine holiday sailings to choose from that range from seven to 14 days; Holiday Collectors' Voyage extend up to 21 days.

During holiday cruises, guests can take part in a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, enjoy caroling and sing-alongs, participate in Hanukkah celebrations, indulge in traditional holiday meals with all the trimmings and a special Royal Dutch High Tea with fanciful holiday cookies and pastries. Kids will delight in a visit from Santa Claus and holiday-themed crafts. The New Year's Eve sailings are the ideal setting to ring in a new year, featuring a festive holiday ball with a Champagne toast.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Announces Complimentary Shore Excursion At Every Port
Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that the all-inclusive, luxe-adventure cruise brand designed for experienced and fun-seeking travelers is including more. All guests on all sailings will enjoy a choice of complimentary shore excursions at every port, known as Atlas Ashore, and is part of the Atlas Ocean Voyages' ALL Inclusive ALL The Way commitment. Launching in July 2021, Atlas' first newly constructed, small, expedition ship, World Navigator, will bring guests on once-in-a-lifetime, luxury adventures, which includes 285 complimentary Atlas Ashore options in 107 port calls in the Holy Land, the Black, Mediterranean, and Caribbean Seas, and South America. Additionally, travelers who make a new booking between now and Mar. 31, 2021, will enjoy 50 percent-reduced deposits and receive a complimentary one stateroom-category upgrade and an additional $600 per stateroom, based on double-occupancy, to apply toward pre-cruise purchases of additional shore excursions. For more information about Atlas Ashore, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com/offers.

"Atlas Ocean Voyages is already one of the industry's most-inclusive luxury brands and we now deliver even greater value to all of our guests with the new Atlas Ashore program," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "Atlas' unique itineraries to less-traveled and bucket-list destinations provide travelers the highly anticipated return-to-cruise that they are planning right now. And Atlas Ocean Voyages' Atlas Ashore augments our already distinctive All Inclusive All The Way experiences, as we continue to add more complimentary Atlas Ashore options."

"Atlas Ashore was initially conceived as a limited-time offer, but the strong response from travelers and our valued travel advisor partners convinced us that it should be a fundamental part of our product definition," said Brandon Townsley, Vice President of Sales and Trade Partnerships. "Our All Inclusive All The Way commitment includes most everything and helps make doing business with Atlas easy for travel advisors. And travel advisors who recommend Atlas Ocean Voyages will deliver greater value and peace of mind for their clients with Atlas' Plan With Confidence flexible travel policy."

Atlas' Plan With Confidence flexible travel policy provides travelers a 100 percent refund of deposited funds up to 91 days prior to sailing. Plus, they can change their reservation as many times as they want, up to 15 days before their voyages' sail date. They can even change their destination and sail with Atlas in another part of the world or choose to cancel at least 15 days or more prior to the departure date and be assured of a 100 percent future cruise credit.

Atlas' signature All Inclusive All the Way provides guests a complete, seamless and worry-free experience by including complimentary round-trip air travel, shore excursion at every port, prepaid gratuities, polar parkas, emergency medical evacuation insurance, premium wine and spirits, international beers and coffees, Wi-Fi, L'OCCITANE bath amenities, and regionally inspired gourmet dining. In every stateroom, guests enjoy binoculars to use on board, en suite coffee, tea and personalized bar service, and butler service in suites.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand designed for experienced and fun-seeking travelers to immerse in exciting and awe-inspiring moments in less-visited, bucket-list destinations. At 9,930 GRTs, World Navigator fosters a refined and convivial ambience for up to 196 guests and features the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into her state-of-the-art design.

World Navigator is Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified and her construction is on schedule for delivery in July 2021. World Navigator will be joined by World Traveller and World Seeker in 2022 and World Adventurer and World Discoverer in 2023.

Seabourn Announces 2021 Alaska & British Columbia Season
Seabourn, the ultra-luxury resort at sea, has planned an exciting program of exhilarating adventures and immersive experiences in Alaska and British Columbia this summer. Seabourn Odyssey is scheduled to sail on a series of newly-revised, seven-day voyages between Juneau, Alaska and Vancouver, British Columbia, taking travelers to explore the vast wilderness and awe-inspiring beauty of the "The Great Land" in a way that is different from the mainstream.

Seabourn Odyssey's itineraries are unique in the marketplace, combining marquee ports such as Sitka and Ketchikan in Alaska with rarely visited gems like the Inian Islands and Alert Bay, a small First Nation village on Cormorant Island in the traditional Kwakwaka'wakw territory of British Columbia. Each voyage will include spectacular glacier experiences in places like Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier or Tracy/Endicott Arm, and will also offer the popular Ventures by Seabourn program of expedition-style experiences led by the onboard expedition team. The line's entire 2021 Alaska season is now open for sale, and itinerary details with more information on the specific destinations visited on each are available on Seabourn's website.

"We are always excited to design and offer travel experiences that enable our guests to have up-close access to the amazing wildlife, breathtaking natural scenery, and unique culture of Alaska and British Columbia," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Our seven-day ultra-luxury voyages and experiences, combined with the splendor of this region, will provide the ultimate Alaska experience."

With its intimate size, highly social atmosphere and award-winning amenities, Seabourn is the best way to explore America's Last Frontier for travelers looking to book a luxury vacation for next summer. The size and maneuverability of Seabourn Odyssey, which carries just 458 guests, all in spacious oceanfront suites, ensures a privileged view of this great and gorgeous land.

Depending on the itinerary, wildlife spotting opportunities are plentiful, both on the ship and off. Destinations such as Cross Sound are one of the main gateways for humpback whales to enter the sheltered waters of Alaska, where guests can get close enough to see everything in this incredibly beautiful environment inhabited by Steller sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, bald eagles and myriad avian species beyond.

Natural wonders are a key experience planned into every Seabourn itinerary, with Alaska and British Columbia having plenty of craggy mountains, long waterfalls, and stunning vistas, so guests have many choices to consider. The North and South Sawyer Glaciers and Dawes Glacier are extremely active, calving frequently and filling their fjords with icebergs while the vast 650,000-acre-plus wilderness around them is home to brown and black bears, wolves, deer, mountain goats, seals and many seabirds. Misty Fjords, which early explorer John Muir declared one of the most beautiful places he'd seen, offer guided experiences via kayak and scenic Zodiac excursions at the very end of the fjord to take travelers to an area of inspiring beauty too narrow for the ship to enter, with vertical granite cliffs rising 3,000-feet above sea level and descending another 1,000-feet below. Glacier Bay, a U.S. National Park and Preserve, unreachable by automobile, is part of a 25 million-acre UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is dotted with vast waterways, dynamic glaciers, emerald rainforests, wild coastlines, deep sheltered fjords, and snow-capped mountains topped by 15,300-foot Mount Fairweather.

All 2021 voyages in Alaska and British Columbia will offer optional Ventures by Seabourn expedition-style tours, featuring guided Zodiac and kayak excursions launched directly from the ship, as well as hiking and wildlife viewing. These excursions will be led by Seabourn Odyssey's expedition team of naturalists, scientists, and wildlife and historical experts. They will also interact with guests throughout each sailing, including complimentary formal presentations as part of the Seabourn Conversations program, and on deck, pointing out, interpreting, and enhancing desirable locations as well as in more casual conversations over meals or at leisure. The expedition team also spends time on deck with SWAROVSKI OPTIK binoculars, some of the finest available and highly coveted by wildlife enthusiasts around the world. Guests who can't get enough can get more insights through team chronicles and photos shared via Seabourn's Voyage Tracker.

In addition to Ventures by Seabourn, the line will offer a number of exciting, optional shore excursions for guests to explore the destinations, from whale watching outings and nature walks to helicopter and seaplane adventures. One of the offerings is the line's popular "Enjoy Your Catch" experience, an exclusive culinary excursion available at select ports where guests can spend time fishing in the fresh air, then taking their personal catch of the day back to the ship to be prepared by the onboard culinary team.

Guests can extend their time in Alaska and British Columbia with Seabourn Journeys, pre- and/or post-vacation packages featuring destinations and experiences in treasured locations that cannot be accessed on single-day excursions from Seabourn Odyssey. These include a visit to Banff National Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, aboard the Rocky Mountaineer luxury train.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.14 - 1.18%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 72.12 + 1.98%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.265 - 1.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 24.14 + 1.73%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which classic liner included among her amenities: 20 dog kennels - each carpeted with running water - and a replica New York City fire hydrant for her canine passengers?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which current cruise line established its own training school for on board crew in Bintang, Indonesia in 1969?

Answer - Holland America Line stablished its own training school for on board crew in Bintang, Indonesia in 1969.
courtesy of Larry P. McDonald


Cruise News - January 4, 2021

Carnival Cruise Line Notifies Guests Of Cruise Cancellations
Carnival Cruise Line is notifying guests of additional cruise cancellations, including extending its pause in all operations in the U.S. through March 31, 2021, as well as select ships and homeport operations related to itineraries and dry dock work.

Booked guests and travel agents are being notified directly of the cancellations and their options for a generous future cruise credit and onboard credit package, or a full refund.

In summary, the cancellations include:

• All embarkations from U.S. homeports through March 31, 2021

• Carnival Freedom from Galveston through April 10, 2021 (which includes a repositioning of the ship from Galveston to Seattle and a 17-day Carnival Journeys cruise which is not allowed under the current guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))

• Carnival Miracle from San Diego and San Francisco through September 16, 2021 (which includes many 10-day and longer itineraries not allowed under the current CDC guidelines)

• Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral from September 17-October 18, 2021 (to accommodate rescheduled dry dock work)

• Carnival Sunshine from Charleston from October 11-November 13, 2021 (to accommodate rescheduled dry dock work)

• Carnival Spirit's 15-day cruise from Singapore to Brisbane on June 12, 2021 (consistent with the current limitations on international travel in place in Australia).

"We are sorry to disappoint our guests, as we can see from our booking activity that there is clearly a pent-up demand for cruising on Carnival. We appreciate their patience and support as we continue to work on our plans to resume operations in 2021 with a gradual, phased in approach," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

World Navigator To Feature First-At-Sea Luxury SeaSpa By L'OCCITANE
Atlas Ocean Voyages and L'OCCITANE en Provence are proud to announce the launch of the first-at-sea Luxury SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE. Guests on a World Navigator luxe-adventure expedition will be able to opt from a holistic and sensorial menu in the new luxury SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE to perfectly complement their exciting and awe-inspiring shoreside experiences. The new SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE will be featured aboard World Navigator when she launches her inaugural Holy Land and Black & Mediterranean Seas season in July 2021.

"We are glad to partner with L'OCCITANE to bring their signature treatments to the open seas," said Mário Ferreira, Chairman of Mystic Invest, parent company of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "World Navigator's SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE will offer experienced, inquisitive and fun-seeking guests the luxury brand's Mediterranean art-de-vivre with the same top-quality service and ingredients for which L'OCCITANE is world-renowned. Our two companies have already been working well together for Mystic Invest's hotel brands and river vessels, and this is a positive, organic next step."

"We are delighted to go further in our partnership with Mystic Invest and bring Spa L'OCCITANE unique experience to sea with Atlas Ocean Voyages," said Frederic Darque, L'OCCITANE Global B2B & Spa General Manager. "Travelers at sea can enjoy the same high-quality treatments as they do on land, a fully integrated wellbeing journey to the sunny soils of the South of France."

SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE treatments combine exclusive sequences, all hand-performed, with authentic ingredients from Provence, certified in origin and proven effectiveness. Guests can choose among L'OCCITANE exhaustive spa treatments menu, which features the Destination Deluxe 2020 award-winning treatment "Sleep & Reset Massage," an innovative 90-minute massage with proven* effectiveness on sleep quality. (*Tests and results accredited by European Sleep Center in Paris)

Located on the main deck, Deck 4, the new 947 sq. ft. (88 m2) SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE welcomes guests in a soothing reception room, featuring the Relaxing Pillow Mist, L'OCCITANE's signature scent. Therapists invite guests into one of two treatment rooms for their SeaSpa by L'OCCITANE experience. Afterwards, guests can bask in their post-treatment glow and detox in SeaSpa's infrared sauna or relax on plush loungers in the spa's serenity lounge and enjoy soothing vistas of the passing oceanscape through expansive windows.

Additionally, all staterooms and suites will also include complimentary L'OCCITANE shampoo, hair conditioner, body wash, and handwash for guests to enjoy in their en-suite spa bathrooms.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Guest Cruise Vacations Through May 14, 2021
As Princess Cruises continues to prepare and develop its plans to meet the "Framework for Conditional Sailing Order" issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in addition to the uncertainty around travel restrictions, the company is extending its pause of guest cruise vacations on ships sailing through May 14, 2021. This includes sailings in the Caribbean, the California Coast, along with early season Alaska and Europe cruises.

"We appreciate the patience from our loyal guests and travel advisors as we work to meet the health and safety requirements for our return to service," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "We continue to prepare our ships for our return to service and we are eager to see our guests back on board to create summertime memories."

Guests currently booked on these cancelled voyages will have the option to receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare paid.

To receive the above FCCs, no action is required by the guest or their travel advisor. The FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by May 1, 2022 and sailing by December 31, 2022. Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by February 15, 2021 or guests will be registered for the Future Cruise Credit option.

Princess will protect travel advisor commission on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.

Princess Cruises previously paused global guest cruise vacations and cancelled all departures on all ships through March 31, 2021.

Holland America Line Extends Pause in Cruise Operations
As Holland America Line continues to prepare and develop its plans to meet the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the company is extending its pause of cruise operations for all departures through April 30, 2021. This includes Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Pacific Coast, Caribbean, Mediterranean and Canada/New England departures.

The line also will cancel all Alaska cruises through mid-May, Alaska departures on three ships through early June, any Land+Sea Journeys connected with canceled Alaska sailings, Mediterranean cruises through early June and Zaandam's Canada/New England itineraries through August.

Cruises impacted by this pause in operation are:

• All cruise departures through April 30, 2021.

• Alaska: Eurodam and Oosterdam through the first week of June (roundtrip from Seattle); Koningsdam through mid-May (roundtrip from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada); Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam through mid-May (roundtrip Vancouver and between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska); and Zuiderdam though early June (roundtrip from Vancouver).

• Mediterranean: Volendam cruises through early June (between Venice and Civitavecchia [Rome], Italy); Westerdam though early June (roundtrip from Venice or between Venice and Piraeus [Athens], Greece).

• Canada/New England: Zaandam cruises through August (between Boston, Massachusetts, and Montreal, Quebec, Canada).

Guests and their travel agents are being notified of the cancellations and options for Future Cruise Credits (FCC) and rebooking.

Holland America Line is closely following the protocol set forth by the CDC, and is preparing ships and implementing procedures to meet all requirements for approval to sail following the pause.

Guests Automatically Receive Bonus Future Cruise Credit

Cruises impacted automatically will be canceled, and no action is needed when opting for the Future Cruise Credit. All guests will receive an FCC per person as follows:

• Paid in Full: Those who have paid in full will receive 125% FCC of the base cruise fare paid to Holland America Line.

• Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full will receive an FCC of double the amount of their deposit. The minimum FCC is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.

The FCC is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. Noncruise fare purchases — such as shore excursions, gifts, dining and spa — will not be transferred to a new booking and will be refunded to the original form of payment. Other funds such as air fares paid to Holland America Line may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.

Guests who prefer a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences Form to indicate their preference no later than Feb. 15, 2021.

P&O Cruises Australia Extends its Pause in Operations in New Zealand
P&O Cruises Australia is extending its rolling pause in operations in New Zealand to departures on and before 25 April, 2021 as the cruise line and the wider industry continue to work with government and public health authorities on the appropriate time to restart sailing.

The cruise line, which has based ships in Auckland for many years, will return to New Zealand for a dedicated 150-day season in July 2022.

P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said the start of a new year brought renewed optimism and confidence but, at the same time, it was important to remain realistic about the more immediate future.

"We know that much better days lie ahead and we remain positive about the resumption of cruising. While we've paused operations, P&O Cruises together with the wider industry has been using the time wisely to plan for cruising's return," Mr Myrmell said.

"As we work towards this goal, we wanted to provide our Kiwi guests with as much certainty as possible and flexibility around their 2021 bookings and an opportunity to reschedule their cruise holiday for 2022 or beyond.

"I want to thank our New Zealand guests for their loyalty to P&O Cruises Australia during this time and we look forward to welcoming them back onboard."

Initially scheduled to start sailing from Auckland from 6 February, 2021, Pacific Explorer's operations were previously paused to 4 March, 2021 and are now paused to 25 April.

In Australia, Pacific Adventure is currently scheduled to begin sailing from Sydney on 30 April, 2021 while Pacific Encounter is due to call Brisbane home from 7 May - although additional voyages may be added earlier, depending on the timing of the return of cruising in Australia.

The extended pause in operations from New Zealand affects the following cruises:

Pacific Explorer: X112N, X113N, X114N, X115N, X116N, X117N, X118N, X119N, X120N.

Booking and refund options for cancelled cruises from 7 January, 2021:

P&O will make contact with guests whose cruises have been affected, either directly or via their appointed travel agent, to let them know of this development and the options available to them.

Guests who have not yet received an offer in response to a cruise that was cancelled during P&O's pause in operations are entitled to a full refund or bonus onboard credit if they choose a future cruise credit.

P&O will pay refunds back to travel agents for guests who booked through that channel. The cruise line will also protect travel agent commissions on all bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full as at 5 January, 2021.

Guests with bookings affected by the pause in operations, can track the progress of their future cruise credit or refund request via a new tracking tool found on P&O's website.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.38 - 5.13%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 70.72 - 1.49%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.270 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 23.73 - 7.05%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which classic liner included among her amenities: 20 dog kennels - each carpeted with running water - and a replica New York City fire hydrant for her canine passengers?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which current cruise line established its own training school for on board crew in Bintang, Indonesia in 1969?

Answer - Holland America Line stablished its own training school for on board crew in Bintang, Indonesia in 1969.
courtesy of Larry P. McDonald


Cruise News - December 28, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line’s New Mardi Gras Docks in Rotterdam for First LNG Refueling
Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras made its first port call this morning in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where the ship will refuel its innovative Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system for the first time after delivery.

Mardi Gras, set to begin sailing from Port Canaveral, Fla., next year, will be the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by LNG.

In its liquefied state, LNG is odorless, colorless, more environmentally friendly and less expensive than other fuels. LNG is considered the marine industry’s most advanced fuel technology. LNG does require, larger, custom-built tanks than conventional fuel as well as specialized refueling stations, such as the one in Rotterdam.

One of the most technically advanced ships at sea, Mardi Gras is equipped with four medium speed LNG engines that will be run in port and at sea. The ship can operate for two weeks between refuelings.

Mardi Gras, which was delivered to Carnival last week at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, is scheduled to depart Rotterdam tomorrow and then sail to Barcelona, Spain, before making its eventual arrival in the U.S. The ship’s inaugural voyage from Port Canaveral is scheduled for April 24, 2021.

Cruise Ships to Dock at the Port Without Passengers
Expect to see more cruise ships — all without passengers — in and around the Port of Los Angeles in the weeks ahead. The visits for fuel, supplies and services are part of the cruise lines’ operations to reestablish the ships in U.S. waters as a prerequisite to meet federal regulations in order to resume cruising in the future.

Cruise operations have been suspended since March due to the pandemic, and no date has been set yet for U.S. passenger sailings. The Port continues to closely monitor the situation and is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), California Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and other emergency and public health agencies. The CDC recently issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, outlining a phased resumption of cruise ship passenger operations.

Princess Cruises, Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ships are scheduled to send ships arriving in Los Angeles this week and through the new year, periodically docking at the Los Angeles Cruise Terminal for fuel, food, supplies, and/or services. No vessels will be carrying passengers.

The Port of Los Angeles is expecting more than two dozen cruise ship calls through early February.

In addition to increased precautions to minimize community spread of and exposure to COVID-19, cruise ship safety implementations while at berth include Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (PSSC) training and Marine Evacuation System (MES) replacement.

In 2020, the Port of Los Angeles experienced 93 cruise cancelations—more than 70% of total cruises—due to the pandemic. Each time a cruise ship calls in Los Angeles, it contributes about $1 million to local businesses and the economy. Losing these cruise ships amounts to losing nearly $100 million in economic activity on the LA Waterfront.

Royal Caribbean Group appoints Amy C. McPherson to Board of Directors
Royal Caribbean Group ( today announced the appointment of Amy C. McPherson, former president and managing director of Europe for Marriott International, to its Board of Directors. Her appointment was effective as of December 21, 2020.

"I am honored to welcome Amy to our board of directors," said Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean Group's chairman and CEO. "Her many years of involvement in the growth of the travel industry, as well as her deep experience in the development of international markets, will be a valuable addition to the board."

McPherson spent more than 30 years in leadership roles at Marriott International, including 10 years of service as the company's president and managing director of Europe, until her retirement in 2019. While at Marriott, she was recognized as one of 25 outstanding "Women Who Mean Business" by the Washington Business Journal.

Ms. McPherson is former Vice Chair of the Executive Advisory Council at James Madison University College of Business. Currently, she is a principal investor in KidsKnowBest, a full-service creative agency providing strong brand solutions for the social age powered by kids.

Royal Caribbean Group Announces $40M “Pay It Forward” Program
After an unprecedented nine months without sailing, travel advisors know that their clients are eager to return to cruising. The only remaining question is when – and the answer to that is drawing closer every day.

That's why Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) is announcing plans to launch "Pay It Forward," a second phase of its successful RCL CARES program to support its travel advisors as they look to rebuild their businesses after a challenging 2020.

The program makes a $40 million pool of funds available to qualifying travel advisors, who can apply for three-year, interest-free loans of up to $250,000 to keep their businesses focused on a return to growth at a time when the pandemic shows increasing prospects for coming under control.

“We know our travel advisor friends are suffering, too, and we will get through this tough period together, just as we always have,” said Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Group’s chairman and CEO. “Our travel partners have stood strong beside us for more than 50 years, and we are determined to be there for them now. We’re going to get to the other side of this challenging time together.”

The pause in cruising has put a financial strain not only on cruise lines but on travel agencies large and small. And while there is optimism that the travel industry will recover strongly post-pandemic, businesses still need financial wherewithal during this intervening period of slower-than-usual business.

The company said details about the application process for the program would be shared directly with travel advisors in January.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 21.71 + 3.09%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 71.79 - 0.04%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.270 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.53 + 3.03%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which current cruise line established its own training school for on board crew in Bintang, Indonesia in 1969?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - The two 14 000 ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971/72 were the Cunard Adventurer (in later 1976 became Sunward II for NCL) and the Cunard Ambassador. These were replaced in by the Cunard Countess (1976) and the Cunard Princess (1977). Although the scheme never materialized, these were origianally intended to be part of an eight ship series being planned by MGM. Cunard had these ships finished to their specifications.
courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe


Cruise News - December 21, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Takes Delivery Of Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line today took delivery of its highly anticipated new ship, Mardi Gras, in a live virtual signing ceremony at the Meyer Turku Shipyard in Turku, Finland.

When Mardi Gras begins guest operations in April 2021, the 180,000-gross-ton vessel will be the most innovative ship in North America as it will be the first ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), boast a suite of new technology, and BOLT, the first-ever roller coaster at sea.

The ship's venues, dining and entertainment will be dispersed throughout six distinctive zones, and include a new restaurant by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, the line's first-ever Big Chicken by Shaquille O'Neal, two dining venues led by Food Network star Guy Fieri, and a new restaurant concept by master chef Rudi Sodamin. The centerpiece of the ship is a breathtaking three-deck-high atrium with floor-to-ceiling windows and movable LED screens that open up to a stunning ocean view.

Mardi Gras will accommodate more than 5,200 guests and a crew of 2,000. Guests will have the choice of more than 2,600 staterooms and 180 suites across 11 categories.

"We have been working tirelessly this year to get to this exciting day to take delivery of this beautiful ship, and the team at Meyer Turku has been an outstanding partner throughout this process," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "I cannot wait for our guests and crew to see and experience Mardi Gras. Notwithstanding the delays related to the pandemic, there is tremendous enthusiasm and pent-up demand for this ship. Next we will work on the development of her sister ship, Carnival Celebration, which arrives in 2022 and has sold very well since inventory opened in October."

"We are delivering a beautiful and highly advanced ship with world-class technology such as LNG propulsion, to name just one. With these sophisticated systems, she will be one of the most environmentally friendly ships to sail the North American waters. I am very proud of our team of shipbuilders and would like to thank everyone involved of their dedication during the building process", CEO of Meyer Turku, Tim Meyer, states.

Duffy said Mardi Gras will depart from Turku later this month to begin her voyage to North America. The ship will operate seven-day Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, Fla., and Carnival has worked closely Port Canaveral to build a new cruise terminal to accommodate the Excel-class ship and also facilitate the new LNG fueling process. The inaugural voyage for Mardi Gras is scheduled for April 24, 2021.

Viking Marks Float Out Of First Expedition Ship
Viking today announced its first expedition ship – the 378-guest Viking Octantis – was "floated out," marking a major construction milestone and the first time that the new ship touches water. Scheduled to debut in early 2022, Viking Octantis will spend her maiden season sailing voyages to Antarctica and North America's Great Lakes. A second, identical expedition ship, Viking Polaris, is set to debut in summer 2022 and will sail journeys to Antarctica and the Arctic. Viking has also developed a series of short videos about the new expedition voyages, ship design and prestigious scientific partnerships, which can be found on its website.

"Working with Fincantieri over the last eight years, we have built the world's most beautiful ocean ships. We are pleased to continue our partnership with Fincantieri's VARD and celebrate this important milestone in the construction of our first expedition vessel," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "In creating 'the thinking person's expedition,' we are perfecting polar expedition cruising, and we will usher in a new era of comfortable exploration in the heart of North America. Viking Octantis and her sister ship, Viking Polaris, will allow our guests to explore further – to the ends of the earth as well as closer to home. I would like to thank our partners at VARD and everyone working at the yard for the hard work and dedication on the building of Viking Octantis; we look forward to welcoming her to our fleet in early 2022."

The float out is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. The float out ceremony of Viking Octantis took place today, December 22; she was then moved to a nearby outfitting dock for further construction and interior build-out. After final outfitting, Viking Octantis will be delivered at Fincantieri's VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway.

Esteemed explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft will be honored as ceremonial godmothers to Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, respectively. Arnesen, a native Norwegian, became the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole in 1994. Bancroft is the first woman to successfully ski to both poles. Arnesen and Bancroft also became the first women to ski across Antarctica in 2001. Together they co-founded Bancroft Arnesen Explore / Access Water, an initiative that aims to engage and empower more than 60 million minds to create a sustainable tomorrow.

Viking Expedition Ships

The new Polar Class 6 Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. Designed by the same experienced nautical architects and engineers that designed Viking ocean ships, the ships are optimally sized and built for expeditions – small enough to navigate remote polar regions and the St. Lawrence River, while large enough to provide superior handling and stability in the roughest seas. The ships will feature public spaces that are familiar to Viking's ocean cruise guests but that have been reimagined for expeditions, as well as new public spaces created specifically for expeditions. Straight bows, longer hulls and state-of-the-art fin stabilizers will allow the ships to glide over the waves for the calmest possible journey; ice-strengthened Polar Class 6 hulls will provide the safest way to explore; and U-tank stabilizers will significantly decrease rolling by up to 50 percent when the ships are stationary. Viking's expedition ships will feature modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:

• The Hangar: An industry first, The Hangar brings true comfort to expedition cruising. This enclosed, in-ship marina permits the launch of small excursion craft through the ship's multiple shell doors. The Hangar's most innovative feature is an 85 ft. slipway that allows guests to embark on RIBs from a flat, stable surface inside the ship, shielded from wind and waves. There is also a FerryBox, a set of instruments continuously collecting and displaying data on water quality, oxygen content, plankton composition and more.

• The Laboratory: Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, while hosting guests, will also be working research vessels with an onboard team of Viking Resident Scientists working on a variety of studies. Developed in consultation with Cambridge University and Viking's other academic partners, The Laboratory, at 430 sq. ft., is designed to support a broad range of research activities and is equipped with wet and dry laboratory facilities, a sample processing area, fume cupboard, freezer and cool storage, comprehensive microscope optics and extensive bench space for analysis-specific instruments. Guests will have supervised access to The Laboratory, which is located in a glass-enclosed mezzanine above The Hangar, to learn from and participate with scientists undertaking primary research, an experience unique to Viking.

• Expedition Equipment: Viking will offer a variety of ways for guests to experience their destination, according to their interests and activity level, at no extra charge. With a robust program of complimentary experiences, expedition equipment available for guests on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will include a fleet of military pro zodiacs designed for professional use in the harshest of environments; a fleet of two-seater Arctic-tested kayaks; and two 12-seater convertible RIBs. Each ship will also feature two six-guest submarines that feature revolving seats and 270-degree spherical windows for an incomparable undersea experience. Everything guests need will be provided: a Viking Expedition Kit will contain items like boots, binoculars and waterproof pants; each excursion will carry a full range of Safety Equipment, such as satellite phones, VHF radios, ropes, life jackets and a comprehensive shore survival kit; and all guests will receive complimentary use of Viking Excursion Gear, which includes specialty items like trekking poles, snowshoes and skis.

• The Aula & Finse Terrace: Viking has created the world's most advanced venue for learning at sea with The Aula, a stunning panoramic auditorium at the stern. Inspired by the University of Oslo's famed ceremonial hall where the Nobel Peace Prize was historically awarded, The Aula will offer a dynamic venue for lectures and entertainment, with floor-to-ceiling windows and 270-degree views. Adjacent to The Aula through sliding glass walls is the Finse Terrace, an outdoor lounge area with comfortable couches and warming lava rock "firepits" – perfect for panoramic views of the surroundings. Together the two spaces can be combined to create an unmatched indoor-outdoor al fresco experience for guests to be immersed in nature.

• Nordic Balcony: A first for polar expedition cruise vessels, all staterooms on board Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform. Harnessing the Norwegian reverence for light and to create the optimal wildlife observatory at sea, the Nordic Balcony's floor-to-ceiling, distortion-free glass at the very edge of the ship lets guests take the views in, while keeping the elements out. Should guests wish to feel even closer to nature, the top of the panoramic glass lowers to transform the stateroom into a sheltered lookout, with an observation shelf at elbow level to stabilize binoculars or a camera. Guests can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 sq. ft to 1,223 sq. ft: Nordic Balcony, Deluxe Nordic Balcony, Nordic Penthouse, Nordic Junior Suite, Explorer Suite and Owner's Suite. All staterooms feature a Nordic Balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and anti-fog mirror. Every stateroom is also equipped with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.

• Expedition Ship Suites: Nordic Junior Suites (322 sq. ft.) and Explorer Suites (580 sq. ft) on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris rival those on Viking's fleet of ocean ships, with abundant wood detailing and amenities that include additional storage and seating, an expanded bathroom with extended shower and double sinks, welcome champagne, a fully-stocked mini-bar replenished daily, complimentary laundry and shoeshine services, priority restaurant reservations and more. Explorer Suites feature two separate rooms, a Nordic Balcony and a full outdoor veranda. Additionally, each ship features one Owner's Suite, which at 1,223 sq. ft, is twice the size of the Explorer Suites. With the most exclusive accommodations and amenities on board, it features two separate rooms – a living room with six-seat dining table and a bedroom – as well as a 792 sq. ft. private garden with a traditional Norwegian badestamp (wood-sided hot tub) and outdoor dining table.

• Aquavit Terrace & Pools: Located at the stern and featuring a retractable glass dome, this indoor-outdoor heated sanctuary will allow guests to be surrounded by their destination as they swim and lounge in three different temperature-controlled pools, including an "inside-out" swimming experience. The Nordic Spa & Fitness Center: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Nordic Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind – with a thermal suite that features a Sauna, Snow Grotto and chaise lounges, as well as a warm hydrotherapy pool and badestamp (hot tub), surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. A state-of-the-art Fitness Center will also provide the latest equipment and workout gear.

• Explorers' Lounge: Similar to Viking's ocean ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris have a two-deck Explorers' Lounge at the bow of the ship, offering the perfect spot for taking in stunning scenery through double-height windows over a mug of mulled wine or glass of Norwegian aquavit. Dining Choices: Viking's expedition ships will offer an array of dining options that build on the successful venues from Viking's ocean ships, but which have been redesigned for expeditions. The Restaurant will offer fine dining featuring regional cuisine and always-available classics; the casual World Café will be a new "market" concept that offers live cooking, an open kitchen, bakery, grill and premium seafood and sushi choices, as well as a wide range of international flavors; Mamsen's, named for "Mamsen," the Hagen family matriarch, serves Scandinavian-inspired fare; Manfredi's offers the best of Italian cuisine; and 24-hour room service will be complimentary for all guests.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking creating "the thinking person's expedition." As part of that commitment to destination-focused learning, Viking's exclusive partnerships with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology will match leading researchers and educators with each expedition. The onboard expedition program is designed to prepare guests for their onshore experiences, with more than 25 experts accompanying each journey – the Viking Expedition Team (expedition leader and staff, photographer and submarine pilots) and Viking Resident Scientists (biologists, botanists, geologists, glaciologists, oceanographers, ornithologists, polar experts and researchers). On board, guests will enjoy daily briefings and world-class lectures about their destination – and engage with working scientists from renowned academic institutions in The Laboratory or participate directly in citizen science programs. On shore, guests can assist in fieldwork or interact through experiential activities during landings – such as monitoring birds to help identify migratory patterns; accompanying scientists to collect samples; or taking their cameras ashore alongside a professional photographer to learn how best to capture scenic landscapes.

• Sustainable Features: Compliant to all guidelines and regulatory requirements from AECO, IAATO, the Antarctic Treaty System and the Governor of Svalbard, Viking's expedition ships minimize environmental impact and meet the most stringent emissions and biosecurity standards. Additionally, the straight bow reduces fuel consumption, and a dynamic positioning system enables the ship to hover over the seabed without anchoring, allowing access to pristine environments without damage.

Handover Of Costa Firenze, The Ship Inspired By The Beauty Of The Renaissance
Costa Cruises officially took delivery of the new Costa Firenze ship from Fincantieri, designed and built in the Marghera shipyard and inspired by the Florentine Renaissance. The event has taken place in full digital mode today.

With 135,500 gross tonnage and a capacity of more than 5,200 guests, the Costa Firenze is part of the development plan that includes seven new ships to be delivered for the Costa Group by 2023, for a total investment of more than €6 billion. Costa Firenze is the fourth of these new ships to be delivered with three more to come.

Of the 14 ships currently operating in the Costa Cruises fleet, 11 were built by Fincantieri, confirming the solid relationship between the two companies, as well as representing a significant contribution to the Italian economy, including guaranteeing work for thousands of employees in the shipyards and external companies, mainly involved in interiors fittings.

"The handover of the new Costa Firenze is a sign of hope and restart for the whole cruise and tourism ecosystems. This ship represents the most tangible evidence of the will of our group to restart. Our hope is that people will soon be able to travel again and that more ships will set sail and contribute to the revitalization of tourism in Italy, Europe and globally," stated Michael Thamm, group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia. "Looking beyond the pandemic, Costa's goal is to design the future of sustainable and zero emission cruising and we hope that our long-lasting partnership with Fincantieri can bring our companies to work together on a roadmap that can lead to this ambitious yet essential objective."

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: "Costa Firenze is the third cruise ship we have delivered since September and we are pleased that the name of this unit recalls one of the most famous cities of art in Italy and in the world. The delivery is an important moment because it is the concrete demonstration that the company is getting back to its normal production activity. I would also like to underline that the financial and economic situation of Fincantieri has not changed significantly compared to what we communicated in the previous quarters. The company has proven to be very resilient, avoiding the cancellation of orders and strengthening relations with the customers of the cruise sector. We are a growing company, we gained an international reputation and reliability, making further development easier, and we can count on an order book guaranteeing long-term visibility with opportunities to increase efficiency, productivity and profitability."

"Costa Firenze is a superb ambassador of Italian style, bringing a distinctive Italian taste for beauty to the seas around the world, from Europe to Asia," said Mario Zanetti, chief commercial officer of Costa Cruises and president of Costa Group Asia. "The concept of the Costa Firenze is inspired by an iconic city, which represents Italian art, taste and refinement in the world's collective imagination. We have designed this ship to offer our guests a unique experience, especially for the family target, with a specific offer of entertainment and services."

Costa Firenze's interior design is a celebration of the Tuscan city, cradle of Renaissance art and culture. The common spaces reflect the harmony of a stroll through a Florentine street or square, even in the choice of colors. Gastronomic offerings are based on the great Mediterranean cuisine, with a wide choice of dining options guaranteed by 13 bars and seven restaurants. The ship is perfect for families, with specific offers and some new features such as a real "adventure park" on board.

The Costa Firenze project also takes sustainability in special regard. Costa Firenze's excellent environmental performance has been acknowledged by RINA, an international certification organization, with Green Star 3, a voluntary notation covering all the main aspects of a ship's environmental impact and requiring maximum protection and prevention across areas such as waste, grey water, black water, machinery oil, CO2, ozone, greenhouse gases, particulate matter, sulphur oxides, nitrogen and ballast water, among others. In addition to honoring compliance with a series of environmental sustainability standards, the certification also recognizes the design solutions and operating procedures that Costa has implemented voluntarily, both during construction and navigation, aimed at outperforming the environmental protection requirements of international regulations.

The ship will first sail in the Mediterranean in 2021, providing two different week-long itineraries in the western Mediterranean. The first itinerary, available from Feb. 28, 2021, includes the Italian destinations of Genoa, La Spezia – with excursions also departing to Florence – and Naples, as well as Valencia, Barcelona and Marseille. The second itinerary, available from May to October 2021, includes Genoa and Civitavecchia, with excursions to Rome, as well as Naples, Ibiza, Barcelona and Marseille. After October 2021, the ship will move to Asia to join her sister ship Costa Venezia, also built by Fincantieri, in the Monfalcone shipyard, and in operation since March 2019.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 21.06 + 0.62%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 71.82 - 3.02%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.270 - 8.47%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 24.78 - 2.44%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which passenger/cruise ships had, at one time, a glass bottom to view marine life?

Answer - The Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Spirit had the glass bottom to "view" the marine life below.
courtesy of Rob Alderman


Cruise News - December 14, 2020

Yes Virginia, There Is A Roller Coaster On A Cruise Ship, And Santa Claus Just Rode It
Santa Claus took a break from his pre-Christmas festivities to venture down to Finland and take a test run on BOLT, the first-ever roller coaster at sea aboard Carnival Cruise Line's new Mardi Gras which is being delivered at the Meyer Turku shipyard later this week.

With enthusiastic shrieks of delight and a few hearty "ho-ho-ho's" echoing throughout the shipyard, Santa zipped along the 800-foot-long track featuring a hairpin curve around the ship's iconic funnel, all while achieving speeds of up to 40 miles an hour.

The all-electric coaster can accommodate two riders – or one Santa Claus and his bag of toys, perhaps – in motorcycle-like vehicles that race 187 feet above the water line, providing incredible views to the sea below.

"Never in my wildest dreams would I think a rollercoaster could be on a cruise ship. It's something we'll be talking about at the North Pole for a long time!" St. Nick said.

Built in partnership with Germany-based Mauer Rides, BOLT is a first-of-its-kind open-air attraction that take cruise industry innovation to new heights when the ship enters service in 2021 from Port Canaveral, Fla.

Royal Caribbean’s Empress And Majesty Of The Seas To Depart Fleet
Royal Caribbean International today announced Empress and Majesty of the Seas will depart its fleet later this month.

“Empress and Majesty of the Seas made indelible marks on the cruise industry with their revolutionary design and size. Touted as the cruise industry’s most groundbreaking ships when they were introduced, they continued to make history throughout their more than three decades of service,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Saying goodbye to these two beloved ships is a major moment in Royal Caribbean’s history – one that is difficult but necessary. With plans for new, innovative ships to join our fleet in the upcoming years, we look forward to our guests and crew continuing to make new memories with us.”

Empress was the first ship designed for 3- and 4-night cruises when she launched in 1990, with her initial sailings visiting The Bahamas from Miami. Empress also made history as the first cruise ship to sail out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey when Royal Caribbean opened the terminal in 2004. In 2017, the ship took center stage again when she set sail on the global cruise line’s inaugural cruise to Cuba.

Majesty also played a crucial role in Royal Caribbean’s commitment to continuously redefine the industry. The third ship to round out the impressive Sovereign Class was more than twice the size of the average cruise ship – and the largest in the vacation company’s fleet – when she debuted in 1992. Her adventures began with 7-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami.

The ships have been sold to an undisclosed party, based in Asia-Pacific, that will release details for future sailings at a later time.

Guests and travel advisors with clients booked on Empress and Majesty will be contacted about their options.

Seabourn Announces Updated 7-Day Itineraries
Seabourn has announced updated itineraries and schedule changes to its 2021 Alaska and British Columbia season between May and September 2021 on Seabourn Odyssey. The entire season will now consist of 18 seven-day voyages between Vancouver, Canada, and Juneau, Alaska, taking guests to the region's most popular destinations, as well as hidden gems along the Inside Passage rarely visited by most cruise lines.

Seabourn revised the itineraries to operate on a seven-day basis to meet the requirements of the Framework for Resuming Cruise Ship Operations order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for sailings with U.S. port calls. To accomplish this, the line has changed its deployment to rotating seven-day north and southbound itineraries operating from Vancouver, British Columbia and Juneau, AK. A number of these voyages will feature the incredible Glacier Bay experience as Seabourn is one of the only ultra-luxury brands with permits to explore Glacier Bay.

"We're dedicated to delivering an authentic ultra-luxury experience in one of the most spectacular regions in the world, including remote, pristine ports that are difficult to access if you're not coming by Seabourn-sized ships," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "At the same time, we are committed to meeting the CDC's requirements to return to service and bring guests back to our ships in a safe and healthy model."

Seabourn's newly revised itineraries for its 2021 Alaska and British Columbia season will feature voyages carefully curated to provide guests with an in-depth and enriching experience in "The Great Land." Each week-long cruise will include spectacular glacier experiences in places like Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier or Tracy/Endicott Arm. Voyages also include the popular Ventures by Seabourn program of expedition-style experiences led by the onboard expedition team. More information on the line's Alaska season is available on Seabourn's website.

As a result of the deployment changes, Seabourn's revised 2021 Alaska and British Columbia season will begin on May 28, 2021, and therefore, the line has canceled two voyages: the Pacific Coastal sailing scheduled for May 15, 2021 and the Alaska voyage that was set to depart May 21, 2021.

Seabourn will be communicating changes and specific details to guests and their travel advisors on the affected voyages.

Seabourn is currently enhancing health and safety protocols with input from global health experts in response to COVID-19 and assessing how they may impact future itineraries. Actual offerings may vary from what is displayed in marketing materials or on our website. Click on the following links to stay updated on current Cruise Updates, Health & Safety protocols, and CDC Travel Advisories.

Viking Announces 2022-2023 World Cruise"
In response to strong demand for its World Cruise itineraries, Viking has announced its new 2022-2023 Viking World Cruise, which will span 138 days, 28 countries and 58 ports, with overnight stays in 11 cities. Departing on December 22, 2022 from Ft. Lauderdale, guests will sail on Viking's newest ocean vessel, Viking Neptune, which will join the company's fleet of award-winning 930-guest ocean ships in late 2022.

Viking World Cruise guests will embark in Florida and journey to Central America, before transiting the Panama Canal and sailing up the West Coast of North America. A shorter, 121-day Viking World Journeys itinerary, is also available, allowing guests to join Viking Neptune in Los Angeles and cross the Pacific Ocean to call in Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, before exploring ports of call in Asia and the Middle East. Finally, the ship will journey through the Mediterranean and conclude the voyage in London.

"We are pleased to offer this new opportunity for explorers to circumnavigate the world in comfort," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "World Cruises are truly special voyages, and they continue to be one of our most sought-after offerings. Our 2021-2022 World Cruise has already sold out more than a year in advance, which speaks to the enthusiasm of our guests as they look forward to the return of international travel."

2022-2023 Viking World Cruise Highlights:

Viking's newest World Cruise itinerary visits dozens of the world's most iconic cities, alongside lesser-known destinations, in one seamless itinerary. Overnight stays in 11 ports, such as Sydney, Haifa, and Istanbul, and double overnights in Auckland, Bali, Ho Chi Minh, Yangon, and Mumbai allow guests to delve deeper. While on board, Viking offers cultural enrichment through onboard lectures and entertainment – such as the Viking Resident Historian program, which provides guests with a high-level historical and cultural education specific to their journey. Guests will immerse themselves in the world's rich cultures during included excursions that provide unmatched insight into daily life, as well as Privileged Access visits to cultural institutions. Highlights of the new 2022-2023 Viking World Cruise itinerary include:

• Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii: The Garden Island – Explore the lush vegetation of tropical Kauai, nicknamed Hawaii's "Garden Island." Guests can embark on a scenic drive to Wailua, known as the "Land of the Kings," to admire stunning nature including the 150-foot high ?Opaeka?a Falls, visit Nawilliwilli's Old Town and enjoy a walk along the beach, or peruse the shops of nearby Anchor Cove.

• vSydney, Australia: Iconic Harbor – Experience Sydney's magnificent harbor, the world's largest, and enjoy an overnight stay allowing ample time to explore this culture-rich city, from its world-class opera house to the natural wonders of the nearby Blue Mountains.

• Singapore, Singapore: A Melting Pot of Cultures – Witness the remarkable cultural diversity of Singapore during an overnight stay. Take a tour of the city's eclectic neighborhoods, from Little India to Arab Street, visit the futuristic horticultural park showcasing more than one million plants, or enjoy a Night Safari at the world's first nocturnal wildlife park.

• Mumbai, India: A City of Old and New – While in port in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, guests can learn about the life and legacy of activist Mahatma Gandhi, enjoy the Hanging Gardens, one of the prized few parks found in the city, and explore the diversity of its neighborhoods, from the picturesque narrow streets of Old Mumbai to the colorful markets in the city's center.

• Istanbul, Turkey: Where East Meets West – Guests will enjoy ample time to experience this historic city during an overnight stay. Straddled across two continents and the Bosporus Strait, Istanbul offers a wealth of religious sites to explore such as the spectacular Blue Mosque or the legendary Hagia Sophia, and boasts delicious fusion cuisine, combining fresh Mediterranean fare with spices from the Far East and Asia.

• London (Greenwich), England: The Royal Borough – The journey concludes in the historic Royal Borough of Greenwich, London on the Thames River, allowing easy access to the regal capital's iconic sights, including the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral.

Viking Neptune Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. Viking Neptune is the ninth ship to join Viking's award-winning ocean fleet, which also includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Sun, Viking Orion, Viking Jupiter, Viking Venus and Viking Mars. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," Viking's ocean fleet features modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:

• All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from 270 sq. ft. Veranda Staterooms, all with private verandas, sweeping views of the destination and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, generously proportioned closets, large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand, free Wi-Fi and award-winning bathrooms with large showers, premium Freyja bath products and heated floors.

• Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. With expansive views from wraparound private verandas, as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category on board, Explorer Suites offer the ultimate sanctuary for World Cruise guests.

• Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.

• LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air.

• Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow of the ship and designed to represent the Scandinavian spirit for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.

• The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.

• Dining Choices: Viking's ships offer eight dining options, all with no additional charge or fee—from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and a variety of culinary options, and the World Café, which features international fare and regional specialties including a sushi and seafood cold bar—to intimate alternative dining experiences at The Chef's Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, and Manfredi's, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. The Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers, while afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden. Mamsen's serves

• Norwegian deli-style fare, and complimentary 24-hour room service allows all guests to enjoy many signature dishes in the comfort of their stateroom. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking's ocean ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea. Additionally, The Kitchen Table specializes in regional dishes from market to table.

• Cultural Enrichment: Viking experiences from ship to shore are designed for unparalleled access and cultural enrichment. Viking Resident Historians deliver high-level historical and cultural education specific to the journey, offering invaluable insight into the rich history of the destination. Guest Lecturers who are experts in their fields shed light on the destination's art, architecture, music, geopolitics, natural world and more. Destination Performances represent the most iconic cultural performing arts of the region—whether it be Italian opera or Portuguese fado. Resident Classical Musicians—pianists, guitarists, violinists and flautists—perform classical compositions throughout the ships. And Culinary Classes in The Kitchen Table, Viking's onboard cooking school, focus on regional cuisine.

• Nordic Inspiration: Even the smallest details take their inspiration from the exploratory spirit of the original Vikings, reflecting deeply held Nordic traditions. Light wood grains, touches of slate and teak,

• Swedish limestone and fragrant juniper appear throughout the public spaces and Spa. The Clinker-built design of the Viking Bar mirrors the construction style of the original Viking Longships. A Viking Heritage Center provides history and context from the Viking Age. And characters from Norse Mythology are subtly incorporated into the design, providing curious guests with inspiration to further explore Viking's Nordic heritage. Sustainable Features: Designed to be environmentally friendly, Viking's ships feature energy-efficient engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency and equipment that reduces exhaust pollution and meets the strictest worldwide environmental regulations.

Cunard's Flagship Queen Mary 2 Takes Center Stage in new HBO Max Film, "Let Them All Talk"
As Meryl Streep's character, famed novelist Alice, steps out of the taxi upon arriving at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, she gazes in awe at Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 dwarfing the port, a magnificent site, even to the most veteran cruise passenger. This is one of the opening scenes of the new film, "Let Them All Talk," directed by the award-winning Steven Soderbergh, streaming on HBO Max on today. Streep's character is sailing aboard the grand ocean liner as a special guest of the voyage's enrichment program, Cunard Insights.

The three-time Academy Award winner Streep is joined by fellow acting royalty, two-time Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest, and five-time Emmy Award winner Candice Bergen. Supported by Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges and actress Gemma Chan, the film is set aboard the storied Transatlantic Crossing, amidst the backdrop of Queen Mary 2's inimitable style, elegance and luxurious surroundings. In fact, the majority of the film was shot on board in some of the vessel's most beloved spaces: the atmospheric, Art Deco Commodore Club, the sumptuous Queens Grill suites and dining room, the Royal Court Theatre and the 9,000 volume library, just to name a few.

As the film was captured aboard a live voyage, many on board guests had a chance to grab their moment in the spotlight when they were cast as extras in the film.

"We were absolutely delighted when Steven Soderbergh approached us to film his next feature on board Queen Mary 2," said Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard. "While Cunard and our flagship are accustomed to hosting luminaries from all over the globe, it was quite something to welcome Steven, Meryl, Dianne, Candice, Lucas and Gemma for this very special and unique opportunity. We are very excited about the film, its witty and engaging story and how lovingly Steven captured the essence of our flagship and the Transatlantic Crossing experience."

Deadline commented that the film's "highly sophisticated and elegant filmmaking is one of Soderbergh's finest…" which resonates with the atmosphere on board, and very well reflected in the production. The viewer can almost experience the leisurely and luxuriant pace of the Crossing, and the allure of this iconic voyage.

Commenting on his experience aboard Queen Mary 2, Soderbergh said: "Color me well impressed. I have never seen an enterprise on this scale of complexity run so beautifully. Every Cunard staff member we interacted with was committed to providing the best possible experience for their guests, which in this case included our cast and crew. And I can confirm without question that as stunning as Queen Mary 2 looks on camera, she's even more stunning to the naked eye."

HBO Max began streaming "Let Them All Talk" on December 10.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 20.93 - 9.78%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 74.06 - 9.26%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.295 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 25.40 - 4.15%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which passenger/cruise ships had, at one time, a glass bottom to view marine life?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner featured a lounge called the "Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"?

Answer - The Liner with the Boat 'n' Bottle Bar was the American Export Lines 'Constitution.
courtesy of Pete Teland


Cruise News - December 7, 2020

Cunard Extends Pause in Operations Into May and June
Cunard announced today it has extended its pause in operations due to the ongoing travel constraints in place across the world.

Voyages departing on board Queen Mary 2 up to and including May 28, 2021, and on board Queen Elizabeth up to and including June 4, 2021, are now cancelled. Departures on Queen Victoria remain unaffected and are scheduled to resume May 17, 2021.

Guests who have had their voyage cancelled will automatically receive a 125% Future Cruise Credit, providing an additional 25% on any monies paid, to redeem against a future voyage.

The 125% Future Cruise Credit can be used on any new booking made by the end of December 2021 and on any voyage available at the time of booking. Voyages are currently available through to early 2023.

Guests preferring a refund should complete the form on Cunard.com.

Cunard President Simon Palethorpe said: "Our extension to the pause in operations is the result of the ongoing restrictions on cruising in the UK and around the world, and recognizes the significant lead times to return to service once those restrictions are lifted.

"We are extremely sorry for the disappointment we know this will cause. We know how much careful consideration goes into planning a holiday and apologize that our guests now have to wait a little longer to travel once again with Cunard.

"Guests are able to use their enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit to book for later in 2021 or for one of our newly announced 2022 voyages. The tremendous response already to our 2022 voyages, put on sale just a few weeks ago, clearly demonstrates our guests are eagerly anticipating travelling again with us. We're equally looking forward to the time when we can welcome back our guests."

Carnival Cruise Line Sets 2021 Dry Docks For Three Ships And Defers Their Return To Operations Until After Work Is Completed
Carnival Cruise Line has established dry dock plans for three of its ships, and as part of its gradual, phased-in return to operations in 2021, will defer the deployment of the vessels until after the work is completed.

In a letter to guests and travel agents, Carnival advised that it has cancelled cruises on Carnival Magic (up to and including the embarkation on Sept. 24, 2021), Carnival Paradise (up to and including the embarkation on May 31, 2021) and Carnival Valor (up to and including the embarkation on Sept. 11, 2021).

Guests will have the option of a 100 percent future cruise credit combined with a generous onboard credit, or a full refund.

Carnival Cruise Line Updates Guests On Itinerary Cancellations
Carnival Cruise Line is informing guests and travel agents that it has cancelled select itineraries for specific operations in 2021, as it implements its plans for the resumption of cruising in 2021, including cruise operations in February from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston and moving the inaugural sailing of Mardi Gras until April 24, 2021.

Mardi Gras will operate from Port Canaveral, and remains the most anticipated new ship to operate from North America in 2021. It will be the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered ship in the Americas, and feature BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea. Carnival will take delivery of the ship from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland later this month and eventually sail to the U.S. and meet the requirements of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Carnival is also cancelling the remaining itineraries scheduled to operate from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston through Feb. 28.

"We apologize to our guests but we must continue to take a thoughtful, deliberate and measured approach as we map out our return to operations in 2021," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Our commitment to the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit is at the forefront of our decisions and operations."

Norwegian Cruise Line Introduces New CruiseFirst Program
Norwegian Cruise Line announced this week the introduction of CruiseFirst, a value-add program offering guests both increased flexibility and additional savings when booking their dream cruise vacation in 2021 and beyond.

CruiseFirst certificates offer guests a $300 value for the cost of $150 and allow them three years from purchase date to apply their certificate to any new reservation across NCL’s award-winning 17-ship fleet visiting more than 300 destinations worldwide. CruiseFirst certificates are combinable with nearly all public promotions including our currently running bestselling deal of the year: 30% off a voyage on any ship plusall five Free at Sea offers including free open bar, free specialty dining, free shore excursions credits, free WiFi and discounted rates for friends and family-- a value of more than $2,900.

“As we look at breaking free from the boundaries of 2020 and think of better days ahead, we want to inspire our guests to dream big about their future vacation at sea with us,” said Harry Sommer, Norwegian Cruise Line president and CEO. “Our CruiseFirst program, launched just in time for the holiday season, provides unbeatable value and serves as a great gift for those planning to turn their vacation daydreams into vacation reality.”

Guests can purchase CruiseFirst certificates by calling 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784) or contact their travel professional. A maximum of ten coupons may be purchased per person with one coupon valid per reservation. Voyage date must be more than 120 days from original purchase date.

Princess Cruises Global Fleet to Feature MedallionClass Experience in 2021
Princess Cruises announced that upon approval to return to service in 2021 its global fleet will feature the MedallionClass Experience, offering a number of new features that leverage touchless technologies and significantly enhance and personalize the guest experience, as well as support new health protocols.

The line of smart ships is expanding as ship transformation has continued during the pause. Coral Princess, Diamond Princess, Emerald Princess, Grand Princess, Island Princess, Majestic Princess, and Sapphire Princess will return as MedallionClass ships along with the new Enchanted Princess.

The cruise line's OceanMedallion wearable device replaces the traditional cruise card and pairs with embedded IoT ("Internet of things") -driven innovative technology to significantly expand touch-free options and personalization on board Princess MedallionClass ships including:

• touchless embarkation and disembarkation

• keyless stateroom entry

• completely contactless commerce

• simplified safety training

• on-demand food, beverages and retail items delivered anywhere on board

• guest service requests via mobile device chat

• location-based gaming and wagering

• entertainment content via smart devices

Princess MedallionClass ships also offer the best Wi-Fi at sea, MedallionNet, so guests can stay connected to the things and people they love and share vacation memories with ease. MedallionNet offers unprecedented connectivity that's fast, unlimited and affordable, so guests can stream favorite movies, shows, games and music; connect to favorite social media sites; and video chat from anywhere on the ship.

"Innovation is allowing us to pair guidance from public health experts with the unparalleled touch-free capabilities of the OceanMedallion honoring our commitment to health and safety, while continuing to reinvent and simplify the experience all together," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "During this down-time we've worked behind the scenes to re-engineer our operation to give guests maximum control of their cruise vacation, as well as to activate the Princess MedallionClass Experience on all of our ships."

A noted breakthrough in the vacation industry, the OceanMedallion connects guests and crew to an experiential "IoT" platform through a network of sensors and readers that help recognize individuals in locations throughout the ship, facilitating extraordinary touchless capabilities that include highly-personalized service and interactive entertainment, while also reducing contact between guests and crew on board and in ports.

"The same technology we've used to simplify and personalize the guest experience on our Princess MedallionClass ships for the past three years is now being further leveraged to safeguard our guests and crew as well," said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. "That means that the smartest ships at sea are now enabling intelligence-driven safety processes via the OceanMedallion."

Medallion-Enabled Touchless Experiences

TrulyTouchless Arrival and Embarkation Princess is transforming embarkation day by leveraging OceanMedallion technology to reduce friction, remove contact, and avoid crowds, streamlining arrival and check-in, as well as completely reinventing the traditional

muster drill.

OceanReady - Upon return, all guests will be required to become OceanReady before leaving home, creating a touchless, expedited arrival experience and embarkation. Guests will use the MedallionClass app to upload travel documents (i.e. passport information) and complete a health questionnaire in advance as well as provide important emergency information and form of payment, take a security image, personalize their Medallions and order accessories to be shipped to their home or ready for pick up upon arrival.

Simplified Safety Training - A new approach to the safety assembly on embarkation day lets travel parties watch an important safety video on their mobile device anytime on embarkation day or from the comfort of their cabin via their stateroom TV and verify their designated muster station with a quick, contactless check-in at their convenience anytime between boarding and sail away. The OceanMedallion and xIoT provide the verification needed by the ship's captain to confirm muster drill check-in while strengthening safety and security operations onboard, safe-guarding guest and crew health, and increasing operational efficiency.

Keyless stateroom entry - Access to staterooms is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated as their cabin door automatically unlocks as they approach – no fumbling for a phone or key card. The traditional do-not-disturb sign also becomes a thing of the past as the feature is integrated with the personalized portal outside each cabin, allowing guests to request privacy or designate their room for service by touching the display or using the MedallionClass app.

TrulyTouchless Commerce - MedallionPay transforms shopping on vacation by eliminating the need to carry cash and credit cards on board and in Princess Cays. MedallionPay allows for effortless payment when purchasing anything on the ship – food, beverages, merchandise, excursions, even laundry tokens. Because the proximity of the Medallion associates a guest's photo with their location, crew members can quickly transact purchases without requiring the guest to handover, tap, swipe or insert a card, sign or enter a pin number.

OceanNow Service On-Demand - Food, beverage, retail orders and service are delivered directly to a guest's location. Guests can place orders using their smart device, their stateroom TV or with a crew member, as the Medallion continuously ensures great service wherever a guest may go on board.

Service Always Available - The location-based capabilities of the Medallion are allowing Princess to completely reinvent onboard guest service. Instead of queuing at the guest service desk for help or support, guests sailing on MedallionClass ships will now be able to request assistance from their mobile device, stateroom TV or any crew member using OceanNow. Requests will then be routed to a crew member to chat or locate the guest to provide personal assistance.

"Our guests have always loved the convenience of OceanNow, but because the pandemic has expanded people's appreciation of direct delivery, we think even more guests will embrace the ability to order food, drinks and more to meet them where they want to be - whether that's a meal or a request for service," added Swartz. "Not only does it prevent unnecessary queuing, it elevates our service delivery."

Contactless Experiences Accessible from the MedallionClass App On board Princess MedallionClass ships and throughout the guest journey, a portfolio of exceptionally fun and convenient experiences put guests in control. Contactless capabilities are accessible from guests' smart phones and tablets, and include shipboard wayfinding, family and friends locator, first-run movies, an interactive events and activities planner, wager-based gaming, and interactive fun.

• Locate Travel Companions, Chat Using OceanCompass: The Medallion helps guests easily locate and chat with friends and family on board, as well as enables proprietary and industry-exclusive person-to-person wayfinding throughout the ship.

• First-run movies on the go*: With OceanView, guests can watch recently-released films, the world's most popular travel series, and live TV featuring broadcasts of select onboard events and more, from anywhere on board using their smart phone or tablet at no additional cost.

• Reserve Events/Interactive Voyage Timeline*: An interactive timeline within JourneyView lets guests see all ship events scheduled during their voyage and reserve activities they are interested in attending, adding it to their own personalized itinerary.

• Wager-based gaming*: With Ocean Casino guests wager real money on games including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board, blackjack on stateroom TVs.

• Interactive fun*: PlayOcean puts entertainment at guests' fingertips with interactive trivia, a ship-wide bar adventure, customizable avatars and more. PlayOcean also transforms guests' mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the massive Movies Under the Stars screen near the ship's main pool. *Experiences are also available on portal displays around the ship or via stateroom TVs

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 23.20 + 16.12%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 81.62 + 3.57%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.295 - 3.28%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 26.50 + 15.87%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which liner featured a lounge called the "Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner featured a lounge called the "Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"?

Answer - The Liner with the Boat 'n' Bottle Bar was the American Export Lines 'Constitution.
courtesy of Pete Teland


Cruise News - November 30, 2020

Carnival Ecstasy Comes to the Aid of an Injured Mariner at Sea
While anchored in The Bahamas on Tuesday, Carnival Ecstasy responded to a Mayday call from the private yacht “Balista” seeking help for a crew member suffering from severe injuries. Carnival Ecstasy was approximately four nautical miles away. While it could see that another cruise ship was closer, the other vessel did not appear to be responding to the Mayday and Carnival Ecstasy Captain Domenico Calise immediately proceeded to lift anchor and proceed to the Balista to rescue the 29-year-old male crew member.

Working in tandem with Carnival’s Fleet Operations Center, Carnival Ecstasy contacted all appropriate authorities, including the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), as per normal protocols. Because of rough seas and 30 knot winds, Captain Calise and his team had to abort the initial transfer of the crew member and lowered a rescue boat to bring him on board.

The crew member was evaluated and treated by Carnival Ecstasy’s medical team who advised that his injuries required further treatment at a shoreside medical facility. Carnival Ecstasy then headed north where it was met by a USCG helicopter and a successful medical evacuation was completed.

Many thanks to the Carnival Ecstasy team for their heroic efforts.

Like other Carnival Cruise Line ships, Carnival Ecstasy is currently in a pause in its operations with ships at minimum non-operational manning status with limited crew members and no guests on board.

Royal Caribbean Group Extends Suspension Cruising
Royal Caribbean Group announced this week that while they continue to work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government authorities around the world toward the shared goal of safely returning to cruising, Royal Caribbean Group will be extending the suspension of some sailings.

The following schedule reflects adjustments to upcoming itineraries.

Royal Caribbean International:

• Most global sailings suspended through Feb. 28, 2021

• Australia sailings suspended through April 30, 2021

• Spectrum of the Seas China sailings suspended through Jan. 20, 2021

• Quantum of the Seas is resuming service in Singapore

Celebrity Cruises:

• All global sailings suspended through Feb. 28, 2021

• South America sailings suspended through April 7, 2021

Silversea Cruises:

• Suspended through April 1, 2021, except for the Feb. 6, 2021 sailing of Silver Origin

Azamara:

• Suspended sailings through March 20, 2021

After months of careful planning, extensive training and simulated trials, Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas resumed cruises for Singapore residents this week with comprehensive health and safety measures in place meeting the requirements of the CruiseSafe Certification standards developed by the Singapore government.

Royal Caribbean Group’s panel of globally recognized scientific and medical experts, together with teams both on sea and on land, continue to focus on a healthy and safe return to service for our guests, crew and the communities we visit.

We will be reaching out to our guests and travel partners to share further details and address any questions or concerns they may have.

Cunard Announces Organizational Changes
Cunard announced today three key changes to senior leadership roles in its North American operation as part of the company's continued efforts to strengthen its position and best prepare for the resumption of cruising. Management changes include internal appointments to sales and marketing and customer service.

Jamie Paiko, currently senior director of marketing, has been appointed to vice president of sales, overseeing the Cunard national account managers and providing support to the regional sales directors and field sales team. She will also be responsible for Cunard's North American public relations efforts. During her role as senior director of marketing she worked closely with the sales team in supporting their efforts. Paiko is a 25-year veteran to the cruise industry, holding various roles at both Cunard and Princess Cruises. Her breadth of knowledge and experience within the organization is comprehensive, holding roles in marketing, customer service, market planning and direct marketing.

Nicole Knox, who holds the position of manager of advertising and marketing, has been promoted to director of marketing, where she will oversee all marketing efforts for North America including digital advertising, trade and consumer advertising, web, customer relationship management (CRM), direct mail and collateral. Knox joined the Cunard marketing team in 2005.

Expanding his role as director of pricing and demand for Cunard North America, Jeriel Lubaton will add management of the customer service team to his responsibilities. Lubaton oversees pricing and performance for Cunard North America and Asia. He also leads the revenue management team and handles global executive reporting and forecasting.

"Throughout its esteemed history, North America has been a cornerstone of Cunard's success," said Simon Palethorpe, Cunard president. "We plan on growing this ever more, including through our return to sailing in Alaska, and these three appointments will further strengthen our presence in North American market."

Jan Swartz Named President Of Holland America Group
Carnival Corporation today announced Jan Swartz has been named group president of Holland America Group, responsible for Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn and P&O Australia, as well as Holland America Princess Alaska Tours and inter-group operations.

"Jan is a highly respected executive and a role model," said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc. "Jan is a champion of innovation and a proven leader."

In 2016, Swartz was named as group president of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia, as well as having executive oversight of the P&O Cruises Australia brand.

Previously, in 2013, she was appointed president of Princess Cruises after more than 12 years working with the cruise line. Prior to this, she served as executive vice president, overseeing the line's sales, marketing and customer service operations, a position held since 2009.

In 2004, Swartz served as senior vice president of sales and customer service for both Princess and sister brand Cunard, and in 2001, she was appointed vice president of strategy and business development and worked on the P&O Princess acquisition by Carnival Corporation.

Additionally, Swartz is the president of the Princess Cruises Community Foundation.

Swartz holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Virginia.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Announces Private Charter Jet Service
Designed for the curious and fun-seeking, well-traveled cruiser, Atlas Ocean Voyages announces a new innovation to Antarctic expeditions. The luxe-adventure expedition cruise brand is chartering a private wide-body jet to bring guests from the United States to Ushuaia, Argentina, where they will embark World Navigator, Atlas' new expedition ship. Atlas' private charter jet service shortens the travel time it takes for guests to reach and return from the Antarctic embarkation port and avoids the layovers and inconvenient scheduling, which are common with commercial routes. Guests also enjoy Atlas' elegant and engaging service as soon as they board the private jet, all part of Atlas' All Inclusive All the Way commitment, in which complimentary, round-trip air travel and more is always included. For more information about Atlas Ocean Voyage's new private charter jet service for World Navigator's Antarctic expeditions, sailing November 2021 through March 2022, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

"Antarctica is the ultimate bucket-list destination and Atlas Ocean Voyages is innovating the industry again by greatly reducing the transit time for North American travelers," said Atlas' President Alberto Aliberti. "And our guests will enjoy Atlas' engaging and enjoyable ambience as soon as they board our private charter jet. This innovation is part of Atlas' All Inclusive All the Way commitment, in which we take care of the details and make it more convenient and seamless for our guests to enjoy Atlas' once-in-a-lifetime experiences."

Guests of World Navigator's Antarctica itineraries enjoy included, complimentary air travel from 16 major U.S. and Canada gateways. They connect at Orlando, Florida, with Atlas' private charter wide-body jet, which brings guests directly to meet World Navigator at Ushuaia. The direct service trims off at least a day's travel time when flying from North America to the Argentine town, also known as the "End of the World." On board, suite guests are accommodated in business-class seating, while all guests enjoy premiums meals, attentive service and unlimited beverages.

Upon arrival at Ushuaia, guests will be escorted through immigration and transferred to World Navigator, while their checked luggage is delivered to their suites and staterooms. At the conclusion of their luxury expedition, guests will be hosted at a Patagonian Gaucho ranch for a farewell meal and experience, prior to boarding Atlas' jet for home.

Atlas' newly constructed, safe, clean and green, small expedition ship, World Navigator, will offer 12 departures on nine-night itineraries to the Antarctic Peninsula, starting Nov. 19, 2021. Two special, 12-night itineraries will offer guests a more extensive Antarctic expedition: the Nov. 28 departure brings guests under the umbra of a rare Antarctic Solar Eclipse and includes the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, while the Feb. 2, 2022, itinerary crosses the Antarctic Circle to initiate guests into the exclusive Order of the Red Nose.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxe-adventure, expedition cruise brand designed for worldly and fun-seeking travelers to immerse in active and awe-inspiring experiences in less-visited, bucket-list destinations. At 9,300 GRTs, World Navigator fosters a refined and convivial ambience for up to 196 guests and features the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into her state-of-the-art design.

Atlas' signature All Inclusive All the Way provides guests a more seamless and worry-free experience by including emergency medical evacuation insurance for all guests, as well as complimentary round-trip air travel, polar parkas, prepaid gratuities, premium wine and spirits and international beers, coffees and smoothies, Wi-Fi, L'Occitane bath amenities, and regionally inspired gourmet dining. In every stateroom, guests enjoy binoculars to use on board, en suite coffee, tea and personalized bar service, and butler service in suites.

World Navigator is Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified and her construction is on schedule for delivery in July 2021, followed by World Traveller and World Seeker in 2022 and World Adventurer and World Discoverer in 2023.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.98 + 9.90%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 78.81 + 4.00%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.305 - 1.61%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 22.87 + 9.48%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which liner featured a lounge called the "Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service?

Answer - It was the Tropicale in 1982.
courtesy of Ronald Russo, Salem NH.


Cruise News - November 23, 2020

AIDA Cruises starts with Canary Island Cruises on December 5, 2020
AIDA Cruises today announced that it will offer Canary Island cruises starting from December 5, 2020.

On December 5, 2020, AIDA Cruises will open their cruise season around the Canary Islands with AIDAperla, followed by AIDAmar, which will start its winter season with the Christmas voyage on December 20, 2020. The 7-day voyages to the islands of eternal spring start on Saturdays or Sundays from Gran Canaria.

The Spanish government adopted clear regulations for safe travel in the Canaries in November, which are in line with AIDA's already established hygiene and prevention measures. AIDA's health and safety protocols, which have been audited by SGS Institute Fresenius and confirmed by the classification society DNV-GL, among others, include measures such as the free COVID 19 test before the voyage, secure arrival and departure, medical care, distance regulations and increased disinfection measures on board, as well as guided shore excursions.

Due to the current situation in the United Arab Emirates, Spain (except Canaries) and France, AIDA has to adjust the schedule in the Orient and the Western Mediterranean. All cruises on AIDAstella and AIDAprima that were planned between December 1, 2020 and January 26, 2021 are cancelled.

Guests whose cruises are cancelled will be informed immediately.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Global Ship Operations into 2021
In response to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "Framework for Conditional Sailing Order" pertaining to resumption of U.S. cruise operations, Princess Cruises is extending its pause in global operations to allow time for the estimated preparation needed for completing required activities prior to sailing and taking into consideration the temporary seven-day cap on itineraries that call at a U.S. port. The cruise operations impacted include the following:

• All cruises sailing through March 31, 2021

• All cruises longer than seven days sailing in and out of United States ports through November 1, 2021

Additionally, due to the uncertainty about when international travel restrictions might be lifted, Princess Cruises is extending its pause in operations for cruises departing in and out of Japan through June 25, 2021.

"We are focused on preparing our ships to meet the CDC health and safety requirements for our eventual return to service," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "We also appreciate the continued support we have received from our guests, partners and travel advisors, reinforcing for all of us why we do what we do."

Guests currently booked on these cancelled voyages will have the option to receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare.

To receive the above FCCs, no action is required by the guest or their travel advisor.

Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by December 31, 2020 or guests will be registered for the Future Cruise Credit option.

Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.

Seabourn Announces Additional 2021 Voyage Cancellations
Seabourn announced today that it will cancel a series of 2021 voyages for two ships in its fleet as part of a broader redeployment in preparation for an eventual return to service.

The cancellations come while the brand works to implement its plan to resume guest operations, which includes meeting the requirements of the Framework for Resuming Cruise Ship Operations order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for sailings with U.S. port calls.

The cancellation announcement applies to select itineraries on Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Quest. Specific details are as follows:

• Seabourn Odyssey: with select voyages cancelled from January 16, 2021 – November 5, 2021. Seven-day Alaska/British Columbia and the Pacific Coast sailings have not been cancelled.

• Seabourn Quest: with voyages longer than 7 days and calling on a U.S. port cancelled from July 22, 2021 – November 6, 2021.

"We're fully committed to meeting the requirements necessary to bring guests back to our ships, including those issued by the CDC," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Our team is grateful for the continued support we are seeing from guests, the travel advisor community, our partners and everyone with an interest in the hundreds of destinations we visit. Stay tuned for releases of alternative voyage options in the months ahead as conditions permit."

Guests with impacted cruises will automatically be cancelled and all guests will receive Bonus Future Cruise Credits. They can also request a full refund of monies paid to Seabourn. Specific details are as follows:

• Paid in Full: those guests paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

• Under Deposit: those guests with bookings under deposit will receive a Future Cruise Credit valued at 125% of the deposit amount paid. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. The amount of non-cruise fare purchases may be transferred to a new booking. Alternatively, guests may request a refund of the monies paid to Seabourn, which will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

Guests and their travel advisors will be sent specific details applicable to their booking. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available on its website first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.

Holland America Line Extends Cruise Pause to Include All Departures Through March 31, 2021
As Holland America Line continues to prepare and develop its plans to meet the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the company is extending its pause of cruise operations for all departures through March 31, 2021. The line also will cancel select longer voyages, and cruises of eight days or longer that call in the United States until Nov. 1, 2021.

Cruises impacted by this pause in operation are:

• All cruise departures from Jan. 1 through March 31, 2021.

• Cruises of eight days or more that call at a U.S. port through Nov. 1, 2021.

• Select longer voyages in Asia, Australia/New Zealand and South America through mid-April 2021. Some departures will be rescheduled to comparable dates in 2022.

Guests and their travel agents are being notified of the cancellations and options for Future Cruise Credits and rebooking.

Holland America Line has begun to prepare ships and implement procedures to meet all requirements for approval to sail following the pause. More details on the company's return to cruise will be announced as soon as possible.

Guests Automatically Receive Bonus Future Cruise Credit

Guests with impacted cruises canceled through March 31 automatically will be canceled, and no action is needed when opting for the Future Cruise Credit (FCC). All guests will receive an FCC per person as follows:

• Paid in Full: Those who have paid in full will receive 125% FCC of the base cruise fare paid to Holland America Line.

• Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full will receive an FCC of double the amount of their deposit. The minimum FCC is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.

The FCC is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. Non-cruise fare purchases -- such as shore excursions, gifts, dining and spa -- will not be transferred to a new booking and will be refunded to the original form of payment. Other funds such as air fares paid to Holland America Line may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.

Longer Voyages Through April 2021 to Sail in 2022

Guests booked on several longer voyages to South America aboard Westerdam, Asia aboard Noordam and Australia/New Zealand aboard Oosterdam will be rebooked to similar dates and itineraries in 2022. Those booked on the Voyage of the Vikings cruise, scheduled to depart July 9, 2021, aboard Zaandam, will move to a similar date in 2022.

All guests moving to a new voyage in 2022 will receive a $150 per person shipboard credit, protected pricing and equivalent stateroom category.

Full Refund Option Also Available

Guests who prefer a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences form to indicate this preference no later than Dec. 31, 2020.

The above options are not applicable to guests booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may?apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line. See the terms and conditions in the Cancellation Preferences form for all details.

Holland America Line previously paused global cruise operations and canceled all departures on all ships through Dec. 31, 2020, and select Hawaii and Grand Voyage itineraries for early 2021.

P&O Cruises extends pause in operations into April 2021
P&O Cruises has extended the pause in operations into April 2021 in response to the current uncertainty around European ports of call.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: "With hopeful news headlines clearly we do not want to extend our pause in operations any further than absolutely necessary, but given the ever changing guidance around international travel and the varying regulations in many European ports of call we felt it prudent to cancel these additional dates.

"In addition, as the final payments are due for these cruises very soon we felt it was the right thing to do for our guests.

"We are so sorry to disappoint those who were due to travel but really hope they will re-book for later in the year or for our new programme of 2022 holidays which went on sale earlier this month with strong demand, showing great confidence in cruising in the future."

All guests with bookings on a cancelled cruise will be notified and will automatically receive an enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit or alternatively a 100% refund by filling out a web form.

Viking Hires New Chief Health Officer
Viking announced today that it has hired Raquel C. Bono, M.D. as the company's Chief Health Officer. A board-certified trauma surgeon and retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps, Dr. Bono most recently led Washington State's medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Principal at RCB Consulting, she partnered with Viking earlier this year to help develop and define new protocol enhancements; as Chief Health Officer, Dr. Bono will be instrumental in Viking's restart of operations, with a focus on public health.

"Dr. Bono brings valuable perspective informed by an extraordinary career that has included decorated military service, trauma surgery and health care administration. Additionally, her work as the head of Washington state's COVID-19 health care response team makes her uniquely qualified to be our Chief Health Officer as we finalize plans for operating cruises safely," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We are proud to officially welcome Dr. Bono to the Viking family, and we will soon be sharing more details about the Viking Health & Safety Program, which we believe is one of the most well-researched and comprehensive COVID-19 prevention and mitigation plans in the travel industry."

"I am delighted to join the Viking family and am proud of the significant work we have already done together. I look forward to continuing to create the safest environment possible for Viking's guests and crew members, while also contributing to the collective public health efforts to address COVID-19," added Dr. Bono.

Commissioned in June 1979, Dr. Bono received her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin and M.D. from the School of Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She completed a surgical internship and General Surgery residency at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, and a Trauma and Critical Care fellowship at the Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine in Norfolk, Virginia. She saw duty in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and is the first female Navy medical officer to have achieved three-star rank. As Chief Executive Officer and Director for the Defense Health Agency (DHA), Dr. Bono led a joint, integrated combat support agency that enables all branches of the U.S. military medical services to provide health care services to combatant commands in times of both peace and war. Dr. Bono integrated an unprecedented $50 billion worldwide health care enterprise for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, composed of 50 hospitals and 300 clinics that provide care to 9.5 million military personnel, oversaw the Department of Defense deployment of the electronic health record, and facilitated the collaboration between the largest federated health systems of the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Dr. Bono holds an MBA from the Carson College of Business from Washington State University, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Senior Fellow with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Her personal decorations include a Defense Distinguished Service Medal, three Defense Superior Service Medals, three Legion of Merit Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, and two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.

Today's announcement follows news that Viking has become the first cruise line to complete the installation of a full-scale polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing laboratory at sea. The laboratory on board Viking Star has enough capacity for up to daily testing of every crew member and guest, which provides flexibility to respond to COVID-19 prevalence levels around the world. In the coming months, Viking will complete the installation of PCR laboratories on the remainder of its ocean ships – and will also have a strong network of shoreside laboratories for its river ships.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.18 + 3.47%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 75.78 + 0.37%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.31 + 12.37%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 20.89 - 1.97%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When is a Sapphire Princess not a Sapphire Princess? The current Sapphire Princess sailing for Princess Cruises had a different name when construction started. What was her original name and why did it have to be changed?

Answer - She was the Diamond Princess. She was renamed the Sapphire Princess after the original Sapphire caught fire and was extensivly damaged during construction.
courtesy of Stephene Sykes, Los Angeles, CA


Cruise News - November 16, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Cancels Additional Cruises as it Works to Meet CDC Requirements
As it continues to build and implement its plan to meet the requirements of the Framework for Resuming Cruise Ship Operations Order issued on Oct. 30 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Carnival Cruise Line notified guests and travel agents that it has cancelled additional cruises for the first part of 2021, including:

• All embarkations from U.S. homeports from Jan. 1-31.

• Additionally, Baltimore, Charleston, Jacksonville, Long Beach, Mobile, New Orleans and San Diego embarkations through Feb. 28.

• Embarkations on Carnival Legend out of Tampa through March 26.

Carnival is in the process of building a gradual, phased in approach to resume guest operations, which will focus initially on Miami and Port Canaveral, to be followed by Galveston. Consistent with CDC protocols, Carnival Horizon arrives in Miami this week, and Carnival Breeze will be the next ship back to the U.S. In total, 16 Carnival ships are currently following the CDC process for an eventual resumption of guest service in the U.S. in 2021, including Carnival Conquest, Dream, Ecstasy, Elation, Freedom, Glory, Liberty, Miracle, Panorama, Pride, Sensation, Sunrise, Sunshine and Vista. Mardi Gras, which is under construction in Finland, will also enter service in 2021.

With this announcement Carnival's operations are paused in the U.S. through Jan. 31, 2021. In addition, Carnival had previously cancelled certain other itineraries on four ships (Magic, Paradise, Valor, and Victory/Radiance) that are scheduled for required dry docks in the first half of 2021, with the plan to return them to operations after maintenance work and upgrades are completed. Carnival previously cancelled operations in Australia through March 2, 2021.

"We are committed to meeting the CDC requirements and keeping our guests and business partners informed of our progress," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "The entire Carnival team appreciates the great support of our guests, travel advisors and business partners, and local officials in our homeports and destinations."

Celebrity Cruises Unveils New Luxury? Brand Approach: ‘Always Included’
Vacations should be effortless from the start.

That’s why Celebrity Cruises has announced a new approach to cruising called ‘Always IncludedSM,’ putting an end to confusing promotions, complicated add-ons and limited time offers. Starting Tuesday, Nov. 17th, every Celebrity Cruises vacation will include Wi-Fi, drinks and tips, simplifying the luxury vacation experience.

“Everything we do at Celebrity is driven by the desire to redefine what today’s luxury looks and feels like, with experiences modern travelers want. With the launch of our Edge Series ships, Celebrity Edge and her brand-new sister ship Celebrity Apex, we tapped into a powerful ‘New Luxury’ culture - relevant, relaxed, design-focused and inclusive,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. “Today, nothing is more luxurious than when things are extra simple and extra special. We wanted to bring that big wonderful feeling of ‘everything is taken care of’ to life for our guests.”

“After this challenging year, ease and peace of mind have become even more invaluable commodities,” said Peter Giorgi, vice president and chief marketing officer of Celebrity Cruises. “People want to spend more time being inspired, not getting lost in a myriad of booking options. Our new ‘Always Included’ approach makes the purchase process simple and incredible – one decision and the wonder of a Celebrity cruise awaits.”

“Always Included” becomes the new standard rate for the luxurious experience offered on Celebrity’s awardwinning ships and includes:

• Unlimited Drinks – Classic cocktails, wines by the glass, beer, sodas, specialty coffees and teas, juices and bottled water can be fully enjoyed without worrying about the tab.

• Unlimited WiFi – Free, always-on connection to social media, email and the web, allows guests to surf the net to their heart’s desire.

• Daily Gratuities – Tips are taken care of allowing guests to relax and enjoy the warm service delivered by Celebrity’s exceptional crew, knowing that the crew behind the superior service are also being taken care of.

For guests who want even more luxurious simplicity, Celebrity is offering the option to upgrade to one of two packages:

• ELEVATE takes the package to new heights with unlimited premium drinks and adds shore excursions up to $200 per person.

• INDULGE includes everything in the ELEVATE package and adds to it with unlimited streaming Wi-Fi and up to an additional $200 per person in onboard credit to spend almost any way desired.

All guests in The Retreat – Celebrity’s unparalleled vacation concept featuring stunning all-suite accommodations and all-exclusive experiences including a private restaurant, lounge and sundeck, and a dedicated team of butlers and concierge staff - will receive the same amenities as the INDULGE package at no additional charge.

“Always Included” is the latest in a series of innovations available on Celebrity ships, including the recent transformation of the traditional cruise industry safety drill into a more personal digital experience, called Muster 2.0, that can be accessed by guests from any smart device or on a stateroom TV and completed at the guest’s leisure prior to the ship’s departure, providing more time to relax and ease into a wonderful getaway.

“Always Included” is available for all new bookings on any of Celebrity’s cruise offerings, excluding Galapagos vacations. As part of its new approach, Celebrity has also enhanced its loyalty program to offer Captain’s Club members new perks and special onboard experiences. Travel advisors can learn more about “Always

Atlas Ocean Voyages Launches At Last… Atlas Marketing Campaign
Atlas Ocean Voyages today announced a new marketing campaign, At Last… Atlas. Supporting the travel advisor community and appealing to travelers' pent-up desire to explore the world again, At Last… Atlas will be released across social media and national consumer and trade print magazines throughout 2021. The luxe-adventure cruise brand has partnered with Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and actress Ashley Támar to create a music video that will be the centerpiece of At Last… Atlas in the United States. With Ashley Támar providing the soulful vocals of an iconic song, the At Last… Atlas music video underscores traveler's longing as they look forward to returning to cruising in the new year

"The new At Last… Atlas campaign message promotes the simple and timely invitation to travelers to return to cruising," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "We're lucky to have the chance to collaborate with a highly regarded and recognized Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and actress. Ashley Támar takes the song's classic lyrics and instills a spirit that encourages travelers to return to the elegance and joy of cruising with Atlas. There's a lot of pent-up demand to return to cruising and this campaign showcases Atlas' unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences aboard World Navigator starting in July 2021."

At Last… Atlas was created for Atlas Ocean Voyages by Coconut Grove-based full-service advertising agency MARCA. The campaign features soothing imagery of Atlas' intimate expedition ship, World Navigator, in a remote, halcyon cove at the end of an exhilarating and inspirational day. Accompanying the imagery is Atlas' invitation to explorers and dreamers to aspire to travel again:

At Last…

At Last it's time…

At Last it's time to come back to something brand new.

At Last… Atlas.

"Collaborating with Atlas Ocean Voyages on the At Last… Atlas project is more than a dream come true," said Ashley Támar. "We are pioneering and re-defining how we experience travel, culture, adventure, and entertainment. I am beyond grateful to align all of my creative gifts to deliver my interpretation of one of music industry's most iconic songs as part of the campaign's centerpiece video and beyond."

Houston-native and known professionally as Ashley Támar, Ms. Davis was an original member of Girls Tyme. Ashley Támar's debut self-titled album "My Name Is Támar…" was released in 2011, followed by "I Am the Storm" in 2016. Among her countless industry accolades are a 2006 Grammy nomination for co-writing and co-recording the inspirational song Beautiful, Loved and Blessed, with the late musical genius Prince, and "turned four chairs" en route to becoming a finalist on Season 10 of The Voice. Ashely Támar's next highly anticipated album "My Name Is Ashley" will be unveiled to the world on the 10th anniversary of her first album in March 2021.

Royal Caribbean Doubles Up On Adventure With 2022 Alaska Deployment
Royal Caribbean International is gearing up for its most adventure-packed Alaska season in summer 2022, introducing new itineraries that tout four ports of call and others that showcase twice the glaciers. With a variety of destinations and four unforgettable cruise ships to choose from, including two of the most innovative in the region – Ovation, Quantum, Radiance and Serenade of the Seas – thrill seekers can experience the breadth of Alaskan nature and culture. The diverse beauty of America’s last frontier will come to life in the culturally rich towns of Haines and Sitka, Seward’s wild natural beauty, and the majestic vistas of the Inside Passage and Hubbard Glacier.

Informed by guest feedback, travel advisors and local partners, the robust vacation offering will be part of a longer summer program, offering 7-night cruise vacations departing from Seattle; Seward, Alaska; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Quantum Class Goes Bolder & Bigger in Alaska

Ovation of the Seas – the first of the cruise line’s game-changing Quantum Class to sail the Last Frontier – will be joined by sister ship Quantum of the Seas to sail 7-night roundtrip itineraries from Seattle. The Quantum Class ships will bring guests to more scenic cities and towns along the Northwest coastline, including Victoria, British Columbia; Sitka, Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska. Travelers will feel a warm welcome in picturesque towns, where native tradition and original Russian architecture are folded into daily Alaskan life, and the awe of the region’s lush landscape, wildlife-filled fjords and gigantic glaciers like the 30-mile-long Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier – best viewed from the North Star, a glass observation capsule unique to Quantum Class that rises 300 feet above sea level.

The adrenaline rush will continue with onboard activities, including a collection of indoor and outdoor pools, the FlowRider surf simulator, RipCord by iFly indoor skydiving experience, and SeaPlex, the largest and most revolutionary indoor active space at sea. When vacationers need a break, they can enjoy Two70, a cutting-edge and transformative venue that offers 270-degree views of the ocean by day and transforms into an unparalleled theater by night with the help of the cruise line’s signature Roboscreens – a troupe of six agile screens that fuse performance art and technology for immersive, live theatrical productions.

Radiance Class Dazzles with Views

A popular choice among vacationers for their ocean-facing glass elevators and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide breathtaking views, two Radiance Class ships will return to the region to round out the summer season. Radiance and Serenade of the Seas will further expand Royal Caribbean’s reach with a fresh take on 7-night itineraries anchored by visits to Haines, Sitka, Ketchikan, Juneau and Seward, Alaska.

Sailing alternating, open-jaw itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, Radiance will introduce a second northbound itinerary that includes a visit to Icy Strait Point – a port owned and operated by native Alaskans – celebrated for its genuine native Tlingit hospitality, diverse landscape and active wildlife. Southbound sailings will introduce an evening call to Haines, among the Inside Passage’s most scenic towns and home to a thriving arts community. Paired with a day spent in Skagway, guests can take advantage of the long, summer daylight hours in the state’s adventure capital that is located along the continent’s longest and deepest fjord.

Sister ship Serenade, departing roundtrip from Vancouver, will similarly hero Haines with a full-day visit to the destination known for whitewater rafting and spotting the North American brown bear. Guests can also enjoy twice the ice with an itinerary that features both the Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier, and the Hubbard Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in North America.

Guests on board Serenade can extend their stay with Royal Caribbean’s signature CruiseTours, a series of 2- to 6-night pre- or post-cruise land tours led by local experts. Travelers can witness the notorious American Brown Bear hunting as part of the Katmai Bear Trek, or learn more about “The Last Great Race” and the team of sled dogs on the Family Tundra Express experience. Royal Caribbean also offers 5- to 6-night Canada CruiseTour options with visits to Banff, Calgary and more.

Oceania Cruises Sets Booking Record With 2022 Summer Season Launch
Oceania Cruises, the world's leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line announced that the launch of its 2022 Europe & North America Collection of voyages resulted in a record-setting day for a summer season launch. The record day represented a more than 20% increase over the line's 2021 Europe & North America season launch, which occurred in August 2019.

Cruises to the Mediterranean and Baltic regions were exceptionally strong performers as were the line's longer "Grand Voyages" that span multiple weeks and, in many instances, multiple continents. More than 90% of the reservations were new, cash bookings with less than 10% using future cruise credits issued for previously cancelled voyages. Additionally, one-third of the reservations were from first-time, new-to-brand guests.

"The tremendous response from our loyal repeat guests, our travel partners, and first-time guests underscores the tremendous pent-up demand for immersive, destination-focused cruises and our acclaimed small-ship experience that features The Finest Cuisine at Sea," stated Bob Binder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceania Cruises.

With the strong demand for voyages in 2022, the line will be opening its 2023 Around the World voyage for reservations in January 2021 followed by the full season of 2022-23 winter collection of itineraries in February. In the summer of 2021, the line will open the inaugural season of the first of its highly anticipated Allura Class newbuilds for sale.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 17.57 - 8.73%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 75.5 + 0.09%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.275 + 10.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 21.31 - 0.93%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When is a Sapphire Princess not a Sapphire Princess? The current Sapphire Princess sailing for Princess Cruises had a different name when construction started. What was her original name and why did it have to be changed?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When French Line's France entered service in 1961 the Salle Des Sports (Sports' Center) on Sun Deck featured what must have been a unique shipboard diversion. What were they? (Hint: there were two of them).

Answer - When French Line's France entered service in 1961 the Salle Des Sports (Sports' Center) on Sun Deck featured bowling lanes.
courtesy of phantomfanatic1 a hotmail.com


Cruise News - November 9, 2020

Costa Deliziosa Cruises To Greece Suspended Until December 26
As a result of the measures enacted by the Greek government in response to the number of coronavirus cases that impose restrictions on travel, Costa Cruises today announced the temporary suspension of Costa Deliziosa cruises to Greece.

Costa Deliziosa – which is offering one-week cruises calling at Trieste, Katakolon, Athens, Iraklion, Bari – will end her cruise currently underway on Nov. 7, in Trieste. The ship will then pause operations for seven weeks, canceling Nov. 7, 14, 21 and 28, and Dec. 5, 12 and 19 cruises. The resumption of Costa Deliziosa operations is scheduled for Dec. 26 with an Italian itinerary to discover some of the most beautiful destinations of the Adriatic Sea and the eastern Mediterranean including Trieste, Bari, Brindisi and Catania. More destinations will be added in the coming weeks.

Costa Cruises' highest responsibility and top priorities are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of its guests, crew, shoreside employees, and the people and communities its ships visit – and that commitment is reflected in the decision to temporarily pause Costa Deliziosa cruise operations in Greece.

The comprehensive health protocols developed by Costa Cruises in coordination with authorities and medical experts demonstrated that cruise travel with enhanced safety is possible, and since the restart on Sept. 6, Costa cruises have received a strong appreciation from guests on safety aspects.

Costa Cruises is informing guests booked on Costa Deliziosa's impacted voyages, providing them with the best offers available, in line with the relevant regulations.

Costa Smeralda, the second Costa ship currently in service, will continue her cruises dedicated to Italy as scheduled, observing the enhanced protocols introduced by the company.

Viking Cruises Announces Additional Investment from TPG and CPP Investments
Viking Cruises announced today an additional investment by its existing minority shareholders, TPG Capital and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), in Viking Holdings Ltd, the parent company of Viking Cruises.

The additional investment by TPG Capital, the private equity platform of alternative asset firm TPG, and CPP Investments, a professional investment management organization that manages the funds of the Canada Pension Plan, will result in approximately US$500 million of net proceeds being available to support Viking Cruises in its continued development.

"We are very appreciative that our shareholders from the prestigious institutions of TPG and CPP Investments are aligned with our vision for Viking's future, which is bright. Over 40 years in the cruise industry have taught me that challenging times—such as these—are often also times of great innovation and opportunity. This infusion of equity capital will prepare us for future opportunities to continue developing our business," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Earlier this week we announced that Viking will further invest in the installation of full-scale PCR laboratories on each of our ocean vessels. These new onboard facilities—a cruise industry first—will provide unprecedented and robust testing capacity, enabling Viking to conduct up to daily PCR testing of all crew members and guests. This was the first in a series of announcements we have planned in the coming weeks, including our enhanced health and safety program and initiatives that will expand Viking's global reach."

"We are excited to deepen our partnership with Tor and the entire Viking team," said Paul Hackwell, Partner at TPG Capital and Co-Head of Consumer investing. "Viking is truly a special company that continues to set the standard for the industry. We know that Viking's guests are eager to get back to safely exploring the world in comfort, and are confident that the company will continue to deliver a differentiated experience for its guests in the years to come."

"While the pandemic has posed many challenges, we have strong conviction that Viking's unique global offering in the cruise industry will continue to be sought out by many guests well into the future. CPP Investments, alongside TPG, is looking forward to supporting Viking and its management team as they return to delivering high-quality, comfortable journeys around the world and build long-term value in the business in the time to come," said Bill MacKenzie, Managing Director and Head of Active Fundamental Equities, CPP Investments.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Includes Complimentary Shore Excursion At Every Port
Catering to travelers' pent-up passion to explore again and supporting its valued travel advisor partners' efforts, Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that it will include an immersive shoreside experience, complimentary at every port for all World Navigator itineraries.

Launching in July 2021, World Navigator is Atlas' first newly constructed, small, expedition ship, which will bring guests on once-in-a-lifetime, luxe-adventure journeys with a total of 107 port calls in the Holy Land, the Black, Mediterranean, and Caribbean Seas, and South America. Worldly travelers who make a new booking from now through Dec. 31, 2020, will receive complimentary shoreside experiences and enjoy more and deeper immersions into the cultures and histories found in the remote and captivating destinations where Atlas sails. For more information about Atlas Ocean Voyages' included complimentary land immersion at every port, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com.

"Atlas Ocean Voyages is already one of the industry's most-inclusive luxury experiences, and we are adding more value by delivering more immersive inclusions," said Alberto Aliberti, President of the luxe-adventure cruise brand. "Experienced travelers and anyone eager to see more of the world should start at the top of their bucket list and go there on an all-inclusive, luxe-adventure Atlas expedition in 2021. With our All Inclusive All the Way commitment, we take care of the details so that guests' return-to-travel will be a safe and unforgettable experience."

Guests who take advantage of Atlas' new land immersion at every port offer can enjoy enlivening and enlightening experiences that make a memorable, all-inclusive, luxury journey. Immersive experiences include a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ancient Olympia from Katakolon, Greece; visit Zippori from Haifa, Israel, and explore this village's rich and diverse historical and archeological legacy; inspect World War II monuments and Soviet-era memorials at Novorossiysk, Russia; see St. Lucia by land and sea atop an ATV and aboard a catamaran; visit notable sites of the Falkland Island conflict of 1982, and more.

Atlas' signature All Inclusive All the Way provides guests a more worry-free experience by including emergency medical evacuation insurance for all guests, as well as complimentary round-trip air travel, prepaid gratuities, premium wine and spirits and international beers, coffees and smoothies, Wi-Fi, L'Occitane bath amenities, and Michelin-inspired dining. In every stateroom, guests enjoy binoculars to use on board, en suite coffee, tea and personalized bar service, and butler service in suites.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is a luxury adventure, expedition cruise brand designed for worldly and fun-seeking travelers to immerse in active and awe-inspiring experiences in less-trodden, bucket-list destinations. The 9,030 gross-registered-ton World Navigator will foster a refined and convivial ambience for up to 196 guests and feature the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into her design.

Following her inaugural summer 2021 season, World Navigator will sail Antarctica expeditions in Winter 2021/22. World Navigator is Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified and her construction is on schedule for delivery in July 2021, followed by World Traveller and World Seeker in 2022 and World Adventurer and World Discoverer in 2023.

Almost 20 Percent of Travelers Think It is OK to Travel Now
News about COVID vaccines are promising, but most consumers surveyed are not waiting for a vaccine to travel and an increasing number of travelers say it OK to travel now according to a new report from Oliver Wyman.

"Vaccines are important but personal judgement is still the leading factor for deciding to travel, ahead of government restrictions and advice from the World Health Organization," said Bruce Spear, a partner with Oliver Wyman. "This means the travel industry must focus on measures that increase individual customer safety such as mandatory masks, cleaning and rapid testing and not wait for governments to issue directives."

The report, Anticipating the Travel Recovery, found several other changes in traveler behavior since the first survey was originally conducted in late April/early May. For example:

• Leisure Travel -- Interest in leisure travel remains strong and has grown since May, with 63 percent of respondents expecting to travel the same amount or more post-pandemic. While most travelers in the US, Spain, Italy, China, and Australia are planning domestic trips, travelers in Canada, UK, France, and Germany are planning international locations mostly in their home region for their next leisure trip post-COVID. The number one driver for these leisure trips globally is to visit friends and family. More than 55 percent of US respondents are more likely to visit friends and family compared to before COVID, showing pent up demand for Thanksgiving and holiday travel.

• Business Travel -- Forty-three percent of all respondents who travel for business plan to travel less in the future, a 16-point increase from May. Business travelers have gotten more comfortable with teleconferencing, but only 53 percent agree that they can develop new relationships via teleconferencing. This drops to 47 percent for business travelers under 30. While half of business travelers expect no change in trip duration, 30 percent expect to shorten their trips when possible, which will impact hotel stays.

• Modes of Transport -- Overall respondents are more comfortable with various transportation options than they were in May. Half are now comfortable taking a flight and almost 60 percent are comfortable staying at a hotel. However, less than a third are comfortable using public transportation or ride sharing. In the US, over 40 percent of respondents are still uncomfortable using public transportation or rideshare.

• Cruises – Back in May, the cruise industry was still reeling from news of passengers quarantined at sea. Since then, the gap between cruises and other experiences involving significant interaction with others has closed. Respondents now feel as comfortable taking a cruise as attending a convention or going to a concert or sporting event. Past cruisers are more comfortable than first timers.

The survey also asked people about actual travel they have done during the pandemic. Overall, 31 percent have traveled by air and 24 percent by train (more than 2 hours) since March. Sixty percent of these trips were primarily for leisure.

Half of travelers (51 percent) were excited to travel; while only a quarter reported being reluctant. Almost 80 percent of those who traveled were satisfied with most components of their experience including check-in, security, boarding process, passenger and crew PPE. Travelers from the US and China had an average satisfaction rating of over 80 percent across their journeys. Travelers were less impressed with food and beverage and airport/station retail because many of these amenities have been nearly eliminated.

Price remains the number one factor for consumer choice, followed by cleaning policies and treatment of travelers. The exception is in China, where aircraft cleaning policies and treatment by the airline outrank price. Travelers view cleaning and mask mandates as the most important health and safety measures, but 40 percent would still like to see an empty seat next to them on planes and trains.

"As we continue to adjust to our new COVID reality, travel providers will see a shift in their core customer base due to reduced business demand," said Jessica Stansbury, a partner with Oliver Wyman. "Leisure travel will continue to drive the recovery and addressing new customer expectations will be critical. There is no wiggle room for travel companies when it comes to defining, communicating and enforcing policies for cleanliness and ensuring safety."

Methodology

Oliver Wyman conducted its second global survey of travelers in September and October to capture how views of travel are changing as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. The survey involved more than 4,600 people across nine countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, United States), all of whom had flown at least once in 2019. A third also have traveled by air and/or rail in the past six months.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.25 + 42.07%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 75.43 + 32.29%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.25 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 21.51 + 33.02%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When French Line's France entered service in 1961 the Salle Des Sports (Sports' Center) on Sun Deck featured what must have been a unique shipboard diversion. What were they? (Hint: there were two of them).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
It's been a long time since a cruise ship or ocean liner was built in a United States ship yard. The last pair was built in the 1950's. What were the names of these ships and what line did they sail for?

Answer - It were the Santa Rosa and Santa Paula of the Grace Line: The liners inaugurated their service to the Caribbean in 1958. They were withdrawn in 1971.
courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselm


Cruise News - November 2, 2020

Silversea Cruises Takes Delivery Of Silver Moon
Silversea Cruises today took delivery of new ship Silver Moon—the ninth vessel in the cruise line's fleet.

During an intimate celebration held at Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, executives from Silversea Cruises, the Royal Caribbean Group, and Fincantieri expressed gratitude to all involved: delivering live speeches via video feed, Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group, and Jason Liberty, Executive Vice President and CFO of the Royal Caribbean Group, each commended the more than 1,000 craftspeople who contributed to the build. Present in Ancona, Luigi Matarazzo—Fincantieri's General Manager Merchant Ships Division—and Roberto Martinoli—Silversea's President and CEO—addressed attendees, before Martinoli penned his signature to officially take delivery of the ship.

Giovanni Stecconi, the Director of Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, subsequently presented Captain Alessandro Zanello, Silver Moon's Master—who was also at the helm for the delivery Silver Moon's sister ship, Silver Muse, in 2017—with a commemorative ampoule that contained seawater from the launch. Concluding Silver Moon's delivery, those present raised a glass of champagne, while respecting physical distancing protocol, to welcome the ship to Silversea's fleet.

"I congratulate all those involved in the build of Silver Moon; it is a proud moment for everybody at Silversea Cruises, the Royal Caribbean Group, and Fincantieri," says Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group. "This beautiful ship represents the resilience of the global cruise industry and it is encouraging to see such innovation and progress in this challenging period. I have long said that Silversea Cruises is the jewel in the crown of the Royal Caribbean Group and I am today reminded of the cruise line's quality. Silver Moon represents the pinnacle of luxury travel; I look forward to welcoming our guests aboard in the near future."

"We are absolutely delighted to welcome Silver Moon to the Silversea fleet. The epitome of 21st-century luxury travel, she possesses a number of innovations that will build on the success of her sister ship Silver Muse, such as our pioneering new S.A.L.T. culinary programme, which we are eager for our guests to experience," says Martinoli. "Every exquisite detail of Silver Moon is an expression of our successful collaboration with one of the world's premier shipbuilders. It is apt that Silver Moon was built here in Italy, a cradle of luxury and a country celebrated for its rich culinary heritage. I thank Fincantieri's leadership team and the more than 1,000 talented craftspeople who overcame the unprecedented challenges of 2020 to make this delivery possible. I also thank Royal Caribbean Group for their invaluable support; Silver Moon is a testament to the success of our collaboration."

"Silver Moon is the third of Silversea's ultra-luxury cruise ships to result from our longstanding, successful collaboration, and we at Fincantieri take great pride in handing over a ship that embodies the highest standards of style, comfort, and whispered luxury," says Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. "We are honoured to have partnered with Silversea in launching their highly successful Muse-class ships, and we are confident that Silver Moon will strengthen the line's legacy of pushing boundaries in luxury cruise travel."

S.A.L.T. Programme: Immersive Culinary Enrichment

Debuting aboard Silver Moon is the innovative new culinary enrichment programme S.A.L.T., an acronym of Sea and Land Taste, which will enable guests to travel deeper through a range of destination-focused gastronomic experiences—both on-board and ashore.

As part of the S.A.L.T. programme, three new venues will unlock immersive culinary experiences for guests on Silver Moon, forming a hub of culinary discovery on Deck 4:

• Among the largest of eight restaurants aboard Silver Moon, S.A.L.T. Kitchen is the first large-scale regional restaurant aboard a luxury cruise ship, offering a menu that changes with the destination and a regionally inspired wine list;

• S.A.L.T. Lab is a test kitchen that enables guests to learn about local ingredients and artisanal techniques, through insightful workshops, tastings, and demonstrations;

• and S.A.L.T. Bar allows guests to sample the most authentic flavours of the destination, through a large selection of regional wines, spirits, and other drinks.

Enhanced Public Spaces

At 40,700 gross tons and with a maximum capacity of just 596 guests, Silver Moon takes influence from the successful design of her sister ship, Silver Muse, and maintains the small-ship intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodations that are hallmarks of the Silversea experience. At the same time, a number of public spaces have been reimagined for the enjoyment of guests, including the following sample:

• Serving fine French cuisine in an elegant atmosphere, Silversea's signature restaurant, La Dame, has been redesigned and enlarged to accommodate 56 guests, with the option to dine outdoors. Bespoke Lalique crystal panels have been incorporated into the restaurant's design to enrich the space's aesthetic.

• Guests' favourite Atlantide restaurant has been enlarged and enriched to accommodate up to 220 guests.

• Minimalist yet sophisticated, the enhanced design of Kaiseki takes inspiration from the best sushi restaurants in the world. Here, guests will witness expert sushi chefs in action, as they prepare fresh sushi, sashimi and other Asian-inspired dishes that are inspired by the seasons.

• The popular Dolce Vita lounge has a new layout with the bar repositioned to the centre of the venue. Dolce Vita will welcome guests as both a sophisticated bar during the daytime and as an enchanting piano bar by night.

• The Connoisseur's Corner now features a new Wintergarden area, creating a sheltered and inviting area outdoors. In the Connoisseur's Corner, guests will enjoy a selection of cigars and premium liquors in a sophisticated atmosphere.

Enriched with elegant décor, premium materials, and luxurious amenities, Silver Moon's 298 spacious suites benefit from one of the highest space-to-guest ratios of any luxury cruise accommodation, offering superlative comfort to guests—a characteristic feature of the Silversea experience. And, with bespoke, handcrafted luxury beds by Savoir enriching the ship's top 10 suites—four Owner's Suites, four Grand Suites, and two Royal Suites—guests in these accommodations will experience a distinctive level of comfort even as they sleep. Guests in every suite will enjoy the dedicated service of a butler, as well as an in-suite bar, stocked with preferred beverages; in-suite dining, available 24 hours per day; and various other luxurious amenities.

CLIA Statement Regarding CDC's Conditional Sailing Order
Cruise Lines International Association has issued the following statement in response to the CDC's "Framework for Conditional Sailing Order."

Guided by the recommendations of leading experts in health and science, including the Healthy Sail Panel (HSP), our members are 100% committed to helping to protect the health of our guests, our crew and the communities we serve, and are prepared to implement multiple layers of protocols informed by the latest scientific and medical knowledge. We will continue to evolve our approach as circumstances evolve. The economic consequences of the ongoing suspension of service are felt in communities across the United States and with hundreds of thousands of jobs at stake, we are committed to resume sailing in a responsible manner that keeps public health in the forefront. We look forward to reviewing the Order in greater detail and working with the CDC to advance a return to cruising from U.S. ports.

CLIA members have been in a voluntary suspension of operations from U.S. ports for over seven months. In that time, CLIA member cruise lines have worked with leading outside experts in health and science to develop science-based measures to further strengthen public health protocols and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 for passengers, crews and destinations. With enhanced measures in place—including 100% testing for passengers and crew prior to boarding, mask-wearing, physical distancing requirements, highly controlled shore excursions and many more—CLIA members have gradually resumed sailing in Europe and other parts of the world with success.

CLIA president and CEO Kelly Craighead gave the following quote:

"While we look forward to reviewing the new Order in detail, we expect much of the Healthy Sail Panel's recommendations, which were adopted by CLIA's Global of Directors earlier this month, have been considered and will serve as an important foundation. The cruise industry and the CDC have a long track record of working together in the interest of public health, and we look forward to continuing to build upon this legacy to support the resumption of cruising from U.S. ports. With enhanced measures in place, and with the continued guidance of leading experts in health and science as well as the CDC, we are confident that a resumption of cruising in the U.S. is possible to support the economic recovery while maintaining a focus on effective and science-based measures to protect public health."

Viking Announces Completion Of First PCR Laboratory At Sea On The Viking Star
Viking announced today that it has completed installation of the first full-scale PCR laboratory at sea. This new onboard facility – an industry first – allows for unprecedented testing capacity in the cruise industry, enabling Viking to conduct PCR testing of all crew members and guests with a non-invasive saliva test. The laboratory has enough capacity for daily testing of every crew member and guest, which provides flexibility to respond to COVID-19 prevalence levels around the world.

This first laboratory has been installed on Viking Star, the company's award-winning 930-guest ocean vessel; it will undergo a series of extensive tests to ensure the procedures and protocols that have been designed are fully effective.

"We have been working on this for a number of months, and today is important as it moves us one step closer to operating cruises again, without compromising the safety of our guests and crew. The recently announced CDC guidelines are clearly aligned with our public health research, and we welcome the agency's push toward testing, as we believe this is the only way to safely operate. In our view, continuous PCR testing, along with our extensive onboard hygiene protocols, will lead to making Viking ships a safe place to get away to and explore the world," said Matt Grimes, Vice President of Maritime Operations for Viking.

Viking will be demonstrating the PCR laboratory, as well as new design and operating procedures, when the Viking Star comes to Oslo, Norway in mid-November.

Carnival Corporation's North American Brands Extend Pause in Cruise Operations
Carnival Corporation today announced that its North American cruise line brands will extend their existing pause in operations, suspending cruise voyages between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.

With operations in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia, Carnival Corporation's portfolio features Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, P&O Cruises ( Australia), Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard.

"Our highest responsibility and top priorities are always compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the people in communities we touch, our crew and shoreside employees," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. "We continue to work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and global government and public health authorities, as well as top medical and science experts around the globe, on a comprehensive plan for the eventual restart of cruising in North America. With their collective guidance, we have developed and continue to update our enhanced health and safety protocols that are in the best interest of our guests, crew and overall public health. Whenever we restart our cruise operations in the U.S., we certainly look forward to welcoming our guests on board."

Individually, each brand has been communicating and will continue to communicate with guests to provide updates and direction regarding affected cruise vacations.

The date for restarting cruise operations will be communicated by each respective brand and available on their websites.

The company and its brands are also notifying crew members, travel professionals and other stakeholders.

Royal Caribbean Announces Winter 2021-22 Redeployment
Royal Caribbean International today provides an update to its 2021-22 winter sailings, which includes new itineraries in the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand. The adapted schedule – informed by market research and valuable feedback from guests and travel partners around the world – adds variety in departure ports and itinerary length. Guests will have even more choices in the Caribbean with ships sailing from the most popular cruise ports across Florida and Texas. In Australia, vacationers can choose from three ships sailing throughout the South Pacific and New Zealand.

The new itineraries combined with Royal Caribbean ships and crew will deliver the signature vacation experience that guests know and love. Most importantly, the global cruise line is applying the best available public health, science and engineering insights to deliver a safer and healthier cruise vacation.

Guests with confirmed bookings between October 2021 and March 2022 whose cruises are affected by these changes will be notified directly.

Australia and New Zealand

• Ovation of the Seas will remain in Sydney with all-new itineraries. The ship will traverse the Tasman Sea, sailing 9- to 12-night itineraries to New Zealand; 5- and 7-night itineraries to Queensland, Australia; and 6- and 8-night itineraries to Tasmania, Australia.

• Quantum of the Seas is now slated to sail from Brisbane, Australia, offering a variety of cruises that range from 3-night weekday getaways to 7- to 9-night adventures throughout the South Pacific.

• Serenade of the Seas will make the voyage from Vancouver, British Columbia to Sydney, which will be her homeport through February 2022. Guests can choose to embark on 12- to 15-night cruises around the South Pacific to Fiji and New Zealand, or take a short break in Melbourne and around the east coast of Australia. The Bahamas and Caribbean

• Allure of the Seas, previously set to make her Galveston, Texas debut, will now sail from Fort Lauderdale to offer 6-night Western and 8-night Eastern Caribbean cruises.

• Explorer of the Seas, originally scheduled to sail from Miami, will call San Juan, Puerto Rico home for the season and sail 7-night Southern Caribbean itineraries.

• Freedom of the Seas will move from San Juan to the world’s cruise capital of Miami with more 3- and 4-night short Caribbean escapes to The Bahamas and the cruise line’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

• Radiance of the Seas, originally planned to sail from Brisbane, Australia, will now embark on 5- and 9-night sailings from Miami.

Vacation as Planned Royal Caribbean’s other winter 2021-22 cruises will sail on as planned in the Caribbean, Australia and Asia-Pacific. Visiting more than 200 destinations in over 50 countries with 27 ships in 2021-22, the cruise line’s winter highlights bring variety, convenience and adventure to next year’s highly anticipated vacations. Winter 2021-22 calls for a family reunion in Florida, bringing together all four Oasis Class ships – Oasis, Symphony, Harmony and Allure of the Seas – for 7-night adventures to the Caribbean, The Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay. Royal Amplified ships Mariner, Independence and Navigator of the Seas offer short getaways to the same crystal blue waters and white-sand beaches. Caribbean vacations will also be within driving distance from the Northeast and the Lonestar state with Anthem of the Seas sailing from Bayonne, New Jersey, and Adventure and Liberty of the Seas sailing from Galveston.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.55 - 3.42%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 57.02 - 2.13%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.25 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.17 - 3.75%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
It's been a long time since a cruise ship or ocean liner was built in a United States ship yard. The last pair was built in the 1950's. What were the names of these ships and what line did they sail for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which commercial steamship company handled the passenger and cargo operations for the N/S SAVANNAH, America's only nuclear powered merchant vessel?

Answer - The initial commercial operator, in 1962, of NS Savannah was States Marine Line. In 1963 operation was transferred to American Export Lines, subsequently American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines.
courtesy of Peter Pinner UK


Cruise News - October 26, 2020

Costa Cruises Announces 2021-2022 Season in South America
Costa Cruises today presented its programs for the 2021-2022 season in South America during an online conference led by Dario Rustico, the brand's general manager for Central and South America.

For its restart in South America, the Italian cruise line will introduce two exciting developments: its new flagship Costa Toscana will make her debut in Brazil, and Costa Favolosa will extend her season to almost five months.

"The arrival of Costa Toscana is a historic moment for Costa Cruises, for the entire cruise industry and for Brazil," said Rustico. "The debut in Brazil of our most innovative ship strengthens the special 72-year long bond between Costa Cruises and South America. Costa Toscana promises to be a highly popular attraction in 2022, enabling our guests to enjoy memorable experiences, five-star dining, high-tech entertainment, and the pure joy and relaxation that comes with being on the open sea."

Costa Toscana is currently under construction at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland. With gross tonnage of over 180,000 tons and more than 2,600 staterooms, including a new cabin category with balcony and terrace, she is the sistership to the recently introduced Costa Smeralda. As with her sister ship, Costa Toscana will retain the inimitable Italian hospitality that has been Costa Cruises' hallmark since the brand's inception, providing great holiday experiences for its guests, whether new to cruise or among the brand's large number of loyal cruisers.

The inaugural cruise of Costa Toscana will include New Year's Eve, as it will depart from Santos on 26 December 2021 for a seven-night holiday to Salvador and Ilhéus, returning to Santos on 2 January 2022 for what will be an unprecedented moment in the history of the Brazilian cruise industry.

From 2 January to 10 April 2022, Costa Toscana will offer another 15 cruises with the same itinerary, with embarkation in Santos and Salvador. The 15 cruises also include Carnival and Easter departures. The latter will be the last tour of the ship before the Brazil-Italy crossing, departing from Santos on 17 April 2022.

Starting 20 November 2021, Costa Favolosa will be cruising in South America for 144 days, almost five months, the longest season in the history of Costa Cruises in the region. The ship will offer five cruises, from three to six nights, calling at Búzios, Salvador, Ilhabela and Balneário Camboriú, with embarkation from Santos.

From 13 December 2021 to April 2022, Costa Favolosa will depart from Rio de Janeiro for her traditional "Prata" itinerary. A total of 15 eight-night cruises will be available, with embarkation – for the first time – in Itajaí, in addition to Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Costa holidays in the Prata region also include Christmas, New Year's Eve and Carnival. This itinerary will allow guests to visit popular destinations, such as the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Ilhabela, Itajaí, Montevideo (Uruguay) and Buenos Aires (Argentina). Costa Favolosa's New Year's itinerary will maintain her traditional New Year's Eve stop at Copacabana beach and its fireworks display.

The 2021-2022 season will also be marked by the Italy-Brazil and Brazil-Italy crossings on board Costa Favolosa. These cruises allow tourists to visit different places in the world at once. Departing from Savona on 2 November 2021 for an 18-night tour, Costa Favolosa will visit the charming destinations of Marseille, Barcelona, Malaga, Casablanca and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in addition to the Brazilian cities of Recife, Salvador, Ilhéus and Rio de Janeiro. Her return cruise to Europe will start on 16 April 2022 from Rio de Janeiro for a 15-night voyage calling at Salvador, Maceió, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Malaga and Barcelona before reaching Savona on 1 May 2022.

Costa Toscana will be representing a tribute to the very best of Italy and especially Tuscany, one of Italy's loveliest and most popular regions. On board all the decks and public areas are named after – and designed based on – iconic Italian places. The food and wine offerings on board will feature the finest Italian culinary traditions, with the collaboration of prestigious partner suppliers fostering the best of Italian culinary traditions. The ship will have 13 different restaurants, 18 bars, a splendid spa area with 16 treatment rooms, an onboard waterpark with waterslides, four pools and a dedicated facility for kids.

Brazilian travelers already had the chance to become familiar with Costa Favolosa, as she has previously sailed in South American waters. Inspired by the fantastic universe of a fairy tale, Costa Favolosa resembles an enchanted castle and the works of art reproduce the great palaces of the world. With more than 1,500 staterooms, the ship brings together the spa wellness center (with fitness center, spas, swimming pools and thalassotherapy, treatment rooms, sauna, Turkish bath, UVA solarium, cabins and suites). Other features include Cinema 4D, four swimming pools, five restaurants, 13 bars, theater, water slide, casino, sports court and children's club.

Princess Cruises Advances Transition of Golden Princess and Star Princess to P&O Cruises Australia
Princess Cruises today confirmed the official transfer of Golden Princess and the accelerated transition of Star Princess to P&O Cruises Australia. Previously announced in 2018, the two vessels will now debut as Pacific Adventure (Golden Princess) and Pacific Encounter (Star Princess) anticipated to sail in 2021.

"Golden Princess and Star Princess have sailed all over the world, creating lifelong memories for the millions of guests who sailed upon these beloved cruise ships," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "We know their wonderful legacy will continue under sister brand P&O Cruises Australia, which has become so well-known for delivering unforgettable cruise holidays for Aussies and Kiwis to some of the most idyllic destinations in the South Pacific."

Golden Princess first joined the fleet in May 2001 with her sister ship Star Princess setting sail the following year in January 2002. Both Golden Princess and Star Princess played an instrumental role in the evolution of Princess.

The ships offered guests plenty of opportunities to customize their vacation experience through an unstructured approach called Personal Choice Cruising. One of the key elements of this program was Princess innovative Personal Choice Dining, which was the only dining program in the industry at the time to give passengers freedom to dine where, when and with whom they wish. Passengers could choose between Anytime Dining, where they could dine in one of the main dining rooms when and with whom they want, and Traditional Dining with an assigned dining time, tablemates and wait staff. Both ships were also amongst the first to feature the line’s popular Lotus Spa and Fitness Centers.

In addition, all guests enjoyed the special privacy afforded by the ships’ more than 710 balcony staterooms, a Princess trademark. Throughout the years, both ships were modernized with signature features Princess is known for, including Movies Under the Stars, The Sanctuary adults-only retreat, the Piazza, and specialty restaurants Sabatini’s and Crown Grill.

Guests with bookings will be notified, and along with their travel advisors, and will receive information on how to book another Princess Cruise when operations resume. Guests who prefer a refund will be accommodated.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces New 2022-2023 Voyage Collection
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has revealed its brand new 2022-2023 Voyage Collection featuring exotic and iconic destinations, allowing guests to explore the world while enjoying an unrivaled experience with every luxury included.

The thoughtfully curated Voyage Collection consists of 148 sailings from April 2022 to the end of April 2023 across Africa and Arabia, Alaska, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Canada and New England, the Caribbean and Panama Canal, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and South America, as well as transoceanic crossings and five Grand Voyages.

Sailings range from 7 nights up to the recently announced 143-night 2023 World Cruise. The Voyage Collection boasts 17 maiden ports of call for the line and 105 overnight visits.

Highlights include Seven Seas Splendor's summer season in Scandinavia and the Baltics; Seven Seas Explorer in the Mediterranean discovering Turkey and Black Sea ports; Seven Seas Voyager's tour of Africa and her winter season in South America which includes a sailing to Antarctica; Seven Seas Mariner's Alaskan summer and 2023 World Cruise; and Seven Seas Navigator's Grand Arctic Adventure and Caribbean cruises which feature two voyages from Bridgetown, Barbados. More detailed information about the ships' individual deployments can be found below.

Opportunities for truly immersive and unforgettable luxury travel vacations abound with access to over 350 UNESCO World Heritage Sites across thousands of FREE unlimited shore excursions in the Voyage Collection. In addition, 36 sailings in Africa, Arabia, Australia, Asia and South America offer FREE pre- or post-land tour programs which, varying from 2 to 3 nights, give travelers more time to experience the regions' sights, history, culture and flavors.

"Launching a new Voyage Collection is always exciting, however knowing our guests' strong desire to get back on the oceans, as illustrated by our record breaking 2023 World Cruise launch, makes this one feel extra special," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "Our guests are passionate about travel and exploring the world and I'm delighted that we can offer them such an exotic and expansive choice of global destinations, all to be discovered while sailing on board The World's Most Luxurious Fleet."

The unrivaled Regent experience continues onboard their five elegant and spacious ships with highly personalized service, exquisite dining, premium beverages, WiFi, valet laundry and more, all complimentary.

Princess Cruises Announces Extension of Pause of Operations in Australia through End of May 2021
Due to the uncertainty about when international travel restrictions might be lifted, Princess Cruises is extending its pause in operations for cruises departing from Australia and New Zealand through May 31, 2021.

Guests will receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare paid. To receive the above FCCs, no action is required by the guest or their travel advisor.

Alternatively, guests can forfeit the bonus FCC offer and request a refund for all money paid on their booking by using this online form. Guests have until November 30, 2020, to elect a refund, or they will automatically receive the default offer listed above.

Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full, in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.

Costa Cruises Completes Italy's First LNG Bunkering Operation
Costa Cruises today announced another milestone for Costa Smeralda, the line's first ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), with an LNG bunkering operation successfully performed on October 25 for the first time in Italy. Carried out in the port of La Spezia and completed at 6:00 pm, the operation was supported by the Italian Coast Guard, Port Authority of Eastern Ligurian Sea, local authorities and Shell, which is the LNG supplier partner for Costa Group and its parent company, Carnival Corporation.

The operation took place with the ship berthed at "Molo Garibaldi" pier, where the bunkering vessel Coral Methane was positioned alongside (bow to bow) Costa Smeralda, under the supervision of the Italian Coast Guard and in coordination with all parties involved and the crews of Costa Smeralda and Coral Methane.

"As part of our deep commitment to sustainability, we are proud to have our LNG-powered flagship Costa Smeralda mark this milestone for Italy and the port of La Spezia," said Franco Porcellacchia, vice president of sustainable innovation and infrastructure development for Costa Group. "Carnival Corporation and Costa were the first cruise operator to invest in sustainable innovation with LNG-powered ship technology and we continue to be committed to ensuring the highest environmental standards for a more sustainable future of cruising."

"With the LNG bunkering that took place in La Spezia, we also marked the 50th successful operation for a Costa Group ship," said Tom Strang, senior vice president of maritime affairs for Carnival Corporation. "This is another important milestone that we have achieved by working together with our partners, as we continue to demonstrate Carnival Corporation's commitment to sustainability and developing the most advanced fuel technologies available today. We are at the forefront of advancing LNG as a fuel source for the cruise industry and we are working to build an extensive, safe and reliable LNG infrastructure for cruise ships around the globe."

"The goal of our working group was to implement appropriate rules and procedures to ensure the highest safety standards, starting with navigation, environmental protection, fire prevention and workplace safety," said Giovanni Stella, captain of La Spezia Coast Guard. "Every prescription adopted was duly observed and we are particularly satisfied that the operation had a regular evolution. Thanks to this positive experience, we believe that other maritime authorities can implement the regulation we have defined in order to increase the LNG distribution infrastructure in Italian ports, as indicated by the Italian and European regulations."

"A very important milestone was reached for the first time in our country, once again right in the port of La Spezia," said Carla Roncallo, president of the Port Authority of Eastern Ligurian Sea. "I would like to thank in particular the La Spezia Coast Guard and the Maritime Directorate of Liguria, who together with Costa Cruises made this operation possible, always keeping safety at the first place."

Costa Smeralda is the first LNG-powered ship in the Costa Cruises fleet, and will be followed by Costa Toscana, the sister LNG ship scheduled to be delivered in late 2021. Another LNG ship, AIDAnova from AIDA Cruises, has been operating within the Costa Group fleet since 2018 and she will be followed by other two sister vessels by 2023.

As part of the overall Carnival Corporation fleet, a third LNG-powered ship, P&O Cruises UK's Iona, was recently delivered. LNG, the marine industry's most advanced fuel technology, significantly improves overall air emissions with the virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and a 95% to 100% reduction in particulate matter. The use of LNG also significantly reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide by 85% and 20%, respectively.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.03 - 0.85%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 58.26 - 2.43%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.25 - 3.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.80 + 2.13%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which commercial steamship company handled the passenger and cargo operations for the N/S SAVANNAH, America's only nuclear powered merchant vessel?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Holland America's Rotterdam of 1959 had a unique central staircase that allowed first class and tourist class passengers to use the the stairs at the same time without ever meeting each other. How was this feat accomplished and what was the inspiration for this design feature?

Answer - The Rotterdam of 1959 had a staircase that comprised of two inter-spiralling staircases that allowed both first class and tourist class to travel vertically and permitted them to access their own grade of deck. This feature was copied from the Chateau de Chambord in France .
courtesy of Les Grant


Cruise News - October 19, 2020

MSC Magnifica Is Second MSC Ship To Return to Service In Italy
MSC Magnifica departed Genoa, Italy yesterday and became the second MSC Cruises ship to welcome guests back on board since Europe’s leading cruise line restarted operations in August.

The ship has commenced a stunning 10-night voyage of relaxation and discovery in the West and East Mediterranean Sea with planned calls at the port of Livorno for visits to Florence and Pisa, Messina in Sicily, Piraeus for Athens, Katakolon for Olympia, Valletta in Malta, and Civitavecchia for Rome, before returning to Genoa. MSC Magnifica will operate six enriched, long Mediterranean cruises before the end of the year, including a special 8-night Christmas voyage that will depart Genoa on 18 December.

This is the second ship to implement MSC Cruises’ comprehensive health and safety protocol, that has been endorsed by external medical experts and formally approved by the relevant national and regional authorities. The comprehensive safety-first measures designed to protect the wellbeing of guests, crew and communities visited were first implemented in August when MSC Grandiosa became the world’s first major cruise vessel to return to service and the Company’s flagship has now completed nine 7-night voyages and positively demonstrated the protocol’s effectiveness. The measures include protected “social bubble” ashore visits for guests to allow them to also enjoy destinations at each port of call.

The MSC Cruises health and safety protocol includes universal health screening of everyone – guests and crew – which includes tests for COVID-19 before they can board a ship; elevated sanitation and cleaning measures throughout the vessel; managed social distancing; wearing of face masks in public areas and technology to aid track and trace on board.

In this initial phase, the ship’s capacity has also been reduced to 70 per cent to ensure social distancing can be guaranteed on board.

Carnival Sensation Assists Small Craft in Distress
On Saturday, Carnival Sensation came to the aid of a small craft which was in distress in international waters 37 miles off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla.

Upon seeing the boat in the water, Carnival Sensation maneuvered alongside the craft and provided blankets, life jackets, food and water to the 24 people on board which included individuals from various nationalities and two children.

The boat began taking on water and Carnival Sensation rescued all 24 individuals and brought them on board. They were evaluated by Carnival Sensation’s medical team and were quarantined away from crew members.

All appropriate authorities, including the United States Coast Guard (USCG), were notified and the USCG dispatched a cutter to the scene to retrieve the 24 individuals.

Carnival Cruise Line is currently in a pause in its operations with ships at minimum non-operational manning status with limited crew members and no guests on board.

AIDA Cruises to Restart Cruise Operations This Saturday
Germany-based AIDA Cruises will resume cruise operations in Italy this Saturday, Oct. 17, becoming the second Carnival Corporation brand to resume sailing, following the return of Italy-based Costa Cruises in early September.

The resumption of sailing from AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises is part of a gradual, phased-in approach by Carnival Corporation to restart operations regionally with limited itineraries, adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols developed in coordination with government and health authorities to follow shoreside mitigation guidelines.

AIDA Cruises will initially resume its cruise operations in Italy with AIDAblu, scheduled to depart from Civitavecchia near Rome on seven-day itineraries visiting Palermo and Catania in Sicily, Naples and La Spezia. The first cruise for the brand is set to begin Oct. 17, with voyages offered weekly until Nov. 28.

The restart plans for AIDA Cruises build on the momentum of Costa Cruises' return to cruise operations in Italy in early September, which began with two initial ships departing from Trieste and Genoa on seven-day itineraries with Italian guests visiting destinations in Italy. Costa Cruises further expanded on Oct. 10 with a third ship, flagship Costa Smeralda, sailing on one-week itineraries dedicated to the rediscovery of the best of Italy, including Savona, La Spezia, Cagliari, Naples, Messina and Civitavecchia.

In working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises have developed a comprehensive set of enhanced health protocols to help facilitate a safe return to cruise vacations. Both brands are providing guests with detailed information about enhanced health protocols, which will continue to be modeled after shoreside health and mitigation guidelines as defined by each brand's respective country, and approved by the flag state, Italy. Protocols will be updated based on evolving scientific and medical knowledge related to mitigation strategies.

"For all our brands, there is no higher responsibility and no higher priority than compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, our crew and the communities we visit," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "We are excited to have AIDA joining Costa Cruises in resuming sailing operations with a gradual expansion of service over time. As we offer travelers a phased return to cruise vacations, we will continue sharing important learnings and best practices among our world-leading cruise line brands and across the industry to help ensure the resumption of cruise operations is done with the best interests of public health at the forefront."

Based on health and mitigation guidelines in Germany and Italy, the AIDA health and safety program will be implemented on all of the brand's cruises, with measures encompassing the entirety of the cruise experience, from booking to disembarkation. Developed with leading medical experts, the program has been audited and confirmed by the renowned independent auditing company SGS Institut Fresenius and the classification society DNV-GL.

The measures include guests and crew being tested for COVID-19 with negative results required prior to boarding. Other protocols include regular temperature and health checks for guests and crew, physical distancing guidelines, facial coverings, capacity controls and increased sanitization measures, as well as guided shore excursions managed by AIDA to maintain health protocols.

Swan Hellenic Orders Third Vega Class Ship
Swan Hellenic and Helsinki Shipyard have entered into a contractual agreement for a third Vega Class expedition cruise vessel.

The brand unveiled plans to return to operations in 2021 earlier this year.

Larger than its sister ships and designed to sail to all continents, the third ship will be a five-star polar PC6 ice-class vessel at 125 metres in length. Accommodating 192 guests in 96 spacious cabins and suites, the vast majority with large balconies, it will be operated by an onboard team of 140.

Featuring a 4.6 megawatt diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction, three-megawatt max. battery package and ice-strengthened hull, the new ship will not only be able to reach the most remote and inaccessible corners of the world, but also do so in almost total silence under battery power.

The procurement of the main equipment has already begun, with all three Vega ships being built at Helsinki Shipyard following a fast-track schedule.

The timing was confirmed as realistic when the keel laying ceremony of the first Vega ship took place on schedule in September despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the ceremony it was announced that Vega 1 would be christened SH Minerva in honour of the company’s first purpose-built vessel, named after the Roman goddess of creativity and wisdom.

With the three Vega ships scheduled for delivery in November next year, April 2022 and year-end 2022, Swan Hellenic is demonstrating solid confidence both in the strength and resilience of the high-end cruise market.

Swan Hellenic chief executive, Andrea Zito, confirmed: “We see the increase in demand for experiences that are truly out of the ordinary and are confident in the bounce back of our industry.”

Six Holland America Line Ships Offer Alaska and Glacier Bay Cruises in 2021
In 2021, Holland America Line will offer a full season of cruises and Land+Sea Journeys that showcase the cruise line's more-than 70 years of experience, insider knowledge and preferred access. From April through September, six ships will take guests on authentic Alaska experiences throughout the Great Land.

Guests can embark on Holland America Line's cruises to Alaska aboard Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam and Volendam. Itineraries sail roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, or one-way between Whitter (Anchorage), Alaska, and Vancouver.

"We're seeing strong interest for next summer's Alaska season as people anticipate being able to get out again, travel and spend time with family and friends," said Gus Antorcha, Holland America Line's president. "Alaska has a natural beauty and an aura that are unmatched, and it's right in our backyard. If you want to have an immersive experience, see Glacier Bay and go up to the Yukon, no one does it better than Holland America Line. We're ready to return with plenty of options for everybody from couples to multi-generational families."

Alaska's awe-inspiring glaciers and Glacier Bay National Park are best viewed from sea and Holland America Line offers the most itineraries to Glacier Bay National Park than any other cruise line. Every Alaska cruise includes a visit to one more of Alaska's iconic glacier destinations: Glacier Bay National Park, Hubbard Glacier and the Twin Sawyer Glaciers of Tracy Arm. New and Notable for 2021

• The Pinnacle Class Koningsdam returns to Alaska with seven-day "Inside Passage" itineraries roundtrip from Vancouver and Land+Sea Journeys. Holland America Line is the only cruise line with seven-day roundtrip itineraries from Vancouver that include Glacier Bay National Park

• New for 2021, seven-day "Glacier Discovery Northbound" and "Glacier Discovery Southbound" itineraries cruise between Whittier, Alaska, and Vancouver aboard Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam. Cruises include two glacier experiences to Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier or College Fjords and ports of call to Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska

• Seven-day "Alaska Inside Passage" itineraries cruise roundtrip from Vancouver, aboard Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Volendam. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway

• Seven-day "Alaskan Explorer" itineraries cruise roundtrip from Seattle aboard Eurodam and Oosterdam, and include calls at Victoria, British Columbia; and Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka

• Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Volendam will offer Land+Sea Journeys ranging from nine to 18 days

• Eight world-renowned chefs guide and influence every aspect of the onboard dining experience, including Pacific Northwest-inspired cuisine by Seattle's Ethan Stowell

• All ships cruising in Alaska feature expanded onboard programming. Guests can engage with an Alaska naturalist, and cruises with Glacier Bay bring on a National Park Ranger and Huna native speaker. Special presentations explore distinctly local topics such as Alaska's bush pilots and the famous Iditarod race

For explorers who want to travel further into the Great Land, 15 different Land+Sea Journeys combine a three-, four- or seven-day Alaska cruise with an inland exploration to spend more time – up to three nights – at Denali National Park and Preserve, the crown jewel of Alaska's interior. Holland America Line is the only cruise line that extends land tour options all the way to Dawson City, the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush, and the unspoiled reaches of the Yukon Territory. Every journey includes a train ride into Alaska's interior on Holland America Line's iconic glass-domed McKinley Explorer.

Royal Caribbean Group Announces Closing of Offering of 8,333,333 Shares of Common Stock
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) (the "Company") today announced that it has closed its underwritten public offering of 8,333,333 shares of common stock of the Company at a price of $60.00 per share. The Company expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

The Company also announced by separate press release that it has closed its previously announced private offering to eligible purchasers of $500.0 million aggregate principal amount of 2.875% senior convertible notes due 2023. Nothing contained herein shall constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the convertible notes.

Morgan Stanley and BofA Securities acted as joint lead book-running managers for the offering of common stock. Citigroup, DNB Markets, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, HSBC, J.P. Morgan and SEB also acted as book-running managers for the offering of common stock. A shelf registration statement relating to the shares of common stock has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and has become effective. The offering was made only by means of a prospectus supplement and an accompanying base prospectus.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.15 - 6.97%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 59.71 - 14.49%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.26 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.45 - 9.02%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Holland America's Rotterdam of 1959 had a unique central staircase that allowed first class and tourist class passengers to use the the stairs at the same time without ever meeting each other. How was this feat accomplished and what was the inspiration for this design feature?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first ocean liner (over 20,000 tons) to have her engines and funnel located far aft?

Answer - it was the Southern Cross of Shaw Savill & Albion. 20.204 grt she was buildt at Harland & Wolff in Belfast in 1955. Southern Cross had a long career under 4 different names until 2003.
courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselm


Cruise News - October 12, 2020

P&O Cruises Officially Welcomes New Ship Iona To Its Fleet
At an official handover ceremony with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany on Friday, P&O Cruises took ownership of Iona, the latest addition to its fleet and the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market.

At 185,000 tonnes, 345m in length with 17 guest decks and setting new ground for guest experience, Iona is the first British cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, who was present at the event in Papenburg and signed the Protocol for Delivery and Acceptance said:

"Iona's delivery is a very positive signal for the future of cruising. She is now officially part of the P&O Cruises fleet and we are focused on readying her to welcome guests during her new maiden season to Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from our home port of Southampton.

"Already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew and the communities we visit, events this year have increased the sense of anticipation even more.

"Whilst our operations are currently paused until early 2021 Iona will not be sailing for the moment but we look forward to our guests experiencing this game-changing ship as we will continue to offer unparalleled holidays at sea whilst also upholding the latest approved travel protocols."

Iona will also herald a new era in cruise holidays with many first of their kind features including the unique two-deck SkyDome. Its glass dome roof and spacious layout flooded with natural light offers relaxing and unrivalled views of the surrounding sky and sea. SkyDome is a tranquil pool environment by day with dining and entertainment by night, including stunning specially commissioned aerial entertainment shows under the stars.

Guests can also craft individual gins at the first ever gin distillery at sea or unwind in the Oasis spa featuring a range of destination-themed treatments.

Iona will have eight specialty restaurants including yet to be unveiled concepts, as well as 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools including a spectacular infinity pool at the aft of the ship and 16 whirlpools.

Carnival Cancels Miami And Port Canaveral Cruises For November 2020
Carnival Cruise Line has notified guests and travel agents that it is cancelling the remaining cruises for the six total ships operating from PortMiami and Port Canaveral for November 2020.

It has also cancelled five cruises scheduled to operate from Sydney, Australia from Jan. 16 - Feb. 8, 2021.

Following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) decision to extend its no-sail order for cruise operations until Oct. 31, Carnival cancelled all but PortMiami and Port Canaveral cruises for the rest of the year. It has now determined that November 2020 operations will not be feasible.

Carnival continues to work on protocols and procedures that would allow for the resumption of cruise operations, with a gradual, phased-in approach, designating Miami and Port Canaveral as the first two homeports for embarkations. Cruises currently scheduled for December from those two homeports remain in place for the time being while Carnival evaluates options. However, guests booked on cruises in December out of Miami and Port Canaveral still have the ability to voluntarily cancel their reservation and receive the same offer that all other impacted guests are receiving, which includes a combination future cruise credit (FCC) and onboard credit (OBC), or a full refund.

In Australia, Carnival is notifying guests and travel agents that five cruises on Carnival Splendor from Jan. 16 - Feb. 8, 2021 have been cancelled. Those guests will receive the same offer of the combination FCC/OBC, or a full refund.

Azamara Will Set Sail Again for the 2021 Europe Season
Azamara has announced the decision to pause operations until the 2021 Europe season and return to service on March 20, 2021 for Azamara Quest's originally scheduled 12-night Spain Country-Intensive voyage, Azamara Journey's April 9, 2021 voyage from Lisbon to Barcelona, and Azamara Pursuit's new series of Greek Country-Intensive Voyages starting on May 9, 2021. The brand's itineraries are all designed for more in-depth exploration to truly connect to the country's authentic heart of local life and culture. The boutique cruise line has chosen to adjust its sailings as a result of individual country restrictions, as well as guest survey results indicating that Azamara guests will feel more comfortable waiting to cruise until 2021. Compensation options can be viewed here.

"After very careful consideration, we have made the decision to pause operations until the 2021 Europe season, as we are still confronted with the many global challenges resulting from COVID-19," says Azamara's Chief Operating Officer, Carol Cabezas. "We plan to return stronger than ever next season, with reimagined guest experiences that will protect the wellbeing of our guests and crew yet remain true to the Azamara spirit of connecting people to cultures."

Cabezas continues, "As we look at our long-term plan, we have already seen a strong demand to our 2022/2023 voyages, which was announced in mid-September. Within the first week of opening for sale, we experienced three times more bookings for new voyages compared to last year's deployment of 2021 and Winter/Spring 2022 itineraries. This just further reinforces traveler's commitment to cruising."

Azamara is prioritizing the health and safety of its guests, crew and the communities they visit. As part of the Royal Caribbean Group, an expert panel has been assembled called the Healthy Sail Panel. The panel is a group of the best minds and leaders in public health, biosecurity, epidemiology, hospitality and maritime operations. Their insights and recommendations are helping drive the way forward as the company works to strengthen current procedures and create new ones across the entire cruise experience.

Royal Caribbean Group Announces Proposed Offering Of Common Stock
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) (the "Company") today announced that it has commenced an underwritten public offering of $500 million of shares of common stock of the Company and intends to grant the underwriters an option to purchase up to $75 million of additional shares. The Company expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

The Company also announced by a separate press release that it has commenced a private offering to eligible purchasers of $500 million aggregate principal amount of senior convertible notes due 2023 (or up to $575 million aggregate principal amount if the initial purchasers exercise in full their option to purchase additional convertible notes). Nothing contained herein shall constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the convertible notes. The closing of each offering is not conditioned upon the closing of the other offering.

Morgan Stanley and BofA Securities are acting as joint lead book-running managers for the offering of common stock. Citigroup, DNB Markets, Goldman Sachs and Co. LLC, HSBC, J.P. Morgan and SEB are also acting as book-running managers for the offering of common stock. A shelf registration statement relating to the shares of common stock has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and has become effective. The offering may be made only by means of a prospectus supplement and an accompanying base prospectus. A preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the offering will be filed with the SEC and will be available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Copies of the preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained from (1) Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, 180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10014, Attention: Prospectus Department, and (2) BofA Securities NC1-004-03-43 200 North College Street, 3rd floor, Charlotte NC 28255-0001, Attn: Prospectus Department, Email: dg.prospectus_requests@bofa.com.

Royal Caribbean Announces New Quantum of the Seas Sailings from Singapore
Royal Caribbean International has received approval from the Singapore Government to pilot cruises, starting in December, after months of planning to ensure the health and safety of its guests and crew, as well as the communities where it sails.

Singapore residents can now satisfy those feelings of wanderlust on 3- and 4-night Ocean Getaways on board one of the Royal Caribbean’s most innovative and game-changing ships. During their getaway at sea, guests will enjoy world-class amenities, next-generation entertainment and international dining on the state-of-the-art Quantum of the Seas. The new sailings, exclusive to residents of Singapore, debut 1 December, 2020 and are now available for booking.

The cruise line’s parent company, Royal Caribbean Group, in collaboration with cruise industry partners, formed the Healthy Sail Panel, a taskforce of globally recognized medical and public health experts, to develop recommendations for establishing the strongest protocols in the travel industry. In Singapore, Royal Caribbean has been working closely with the local health and tourism authorities to follow all requirements and guidelines including the CruiseSafe Certification standards, which all cruise lines must obtain prior to sailing out of Singapore.

When it resumes operations, the global cruise operator will implement a comprehensive set of health and safety measures at every step of the guest journey with rigorous protocols that include, testing and screening; upgraded Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems that enhance filtration; stringent cleaning practices; reduced capacities for greater physical distancing; expert medical care and onboard facilities, and more. These protocols will continuously be evaluated and enhanced as new procedures and advancements in technology become available. Details of the health and safety protocols can be found at www.royalpromise.com/singapore.

“Singapore residents are adventurous travellers, and we are so excited to give them the opportunity to get away from their daily grind and enjoy a thrilling world-class Ocean Getaway, with total peace of mind. While the cruise experience will be different than it was pre-pandemic, we are committed to providing the signature Royal Caribbean holiday that guests know and love, while keeping the health and safety of everyone on board as our top priority” said Angie Stephen, managing director, Asia Pacific, Royal Caribbean International. “I extend my deepest gratitude to the Singapore Government for their collaboration and support and confidence in Royal Caribbean to deliver a safe cruising experience. We share their strong commitment and focus to reignite the local economy and bring back jobs and services supporting the travel industry.”

“As ASEAN’s lead coordinator for cruise development, Singapore remains committed to supporting and growing cruise tourism in the region. Royal Caribbean International is a key partner in growing cruising in Singapore and the region, and I am confident in their ability to maintain the highest standards of hygiene and safety,” said Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board. “We will continue to work with cruise lines and our industry stakeholders to chart a new course for safe cruising.”

With its 50-year legacy of bold innovation, Royal Caribbean introduced Quantum of the Seas as the world’s first smart ship with game-changing features designed to thrill multigenerational families. One-of-a-kind experiences come to life for guests in cutting-edge and transformative venues, such as Two70 with its expansive floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking 270-degree views of the ocean by day and transforming into an unparalleled theater by night. The high-tech lounge also known for its signature Roboscreens – a troupe of six agile screens, each measuring over 7 feet tall, controlled by nimble robotic arms – features next-generation entertainment that seamlessly fuses performance art and technology for immersive, live theatrical productions. The adventures continue with a bold lineup of activities, including the North Star glass observation capsule that rises 300 feet above sea level, skydiving, surfing, cocktails served by robots at the Bionic Bar, and SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea – home to bumper cars, a trapeze school, roller skating, a basketball court and gaming. The ship features 18 dining options serving up flavors from around the globe, ranging from imaginative cuisine at Wonderland and authentic rustic fare and handmade pasta at Jamie’s Italian.

Carnival Corporation & plc Provides a Business Update
Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, "We have come full circle from initiating a suspension in the early days of the pandemic, to transitioning the fleet into a pause status, right sizing our organization and, now, embarking on the phased resumption of guest operations, underway in two of our world leading cruise brands, Costa in Italy and AIDA in Germany. We have accelerated the sale of less efficient ships, enabling us to capitalize on pent up demand on reduced capacity and structurally lower our cost base, while retaining our most cash generating assets. We are taking aggressive actions managing the balance sheet and reducing capacity to position us to weather this disruption and also emerge a leaner, more efficient company, reinforcing our industry leading position."

Resumption of Guest Operations

In the face of the global impact of COVID-19, the company paused its guest cruise operations in mid-March. The company resumed limited guest operations last month, with Costa Cruises ("Costa") successful voyages on two of its ships, Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema. The company is continuing the limited resumption of its guest cruise operations with sailings on additional Costa ships shortly, as well as with sailings on AIDA Cruises ("AIDA") which are anticipated to begin next week. These brands are beginning the company's anticipated gradual, phased-in resumption of guest cruise operations. The initial cruises will continue to take place with adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols developed with government and health authorities, and guidance from our roster of medical and scientific experts.

Other brands and ships are expected to return to service over time to provide guests with unmatched joyful vacations in a manner consistent with the company's highest priorities, which are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of its guests, crew, shoreside employees and the people in the communities its ships visit. Many of the company's brands source the majority of their guests from the geographical region in which they operate. In the current environment, the company believes this will benefit it in resuming guest cruise operations.

Health and Safety Protocols

Working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, Costa and AIDA have a comprehensive set of health and hygiene protocols to help facilitate a safe and healthy return to cruise vacations. Both brands are providing guests with detailed information about enhanced protocols, which are modeled after shoreside health and mitigation guidelines as provided by each brand's respective country, and approved by the flag state, Italy. Protocols will be updated based on evolving scientific and medical knowledge related to mitigation strategies.

Costa is the first cruise company to earn the Biosafety Trust Certification from Registro Italiano Navale ("RINA"). The certification process examined all aspects of life onboard and ashore and assessed the compliance of the system with procedures aimed at the prevention and control of infections. Costa's comprehensive set of measures and procedures implemented on the ships that resumed operations, cover key areas such as crew health and safety, the booking process, guest activities, entertainment and dining, and medical care on board, as well as pre-boarding, embarkation and disembarkation operations, which includes testing for all guests prior to embarkation.

The company is encouraged that the Centers for Disease Control's ("CDC") No Sail Order was extended by only one month to October 31, 2020, the same date as the industry's end of voluntary suspension of passenger operations. For many months, cruise lines have worked with experts worldwide to develop unprecedented public health protocols and are hopeful these measures will lead to a gradual, phased resumption of cruising by the end of the year. There is constant dialogue ongoing in the United States for a potential cruise restart and the company is hopeful that the industry is in a position to collaborate with the CDC and administration to resume cruising from the United States this year.

More broadly, as the understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, the company has been working with a number of world-leading public health, epidemiological and policy experts to support its ongoing efforts with enhanced protocols and procedures for the return of cruise vacations. These advisors will continue to provide guidance based on the latest scientific evidence and best practices for protection and mitigation.

Optimizing the Future Fleet

The company expects future capacity to be moderated by the phased re-entry of its ships, the removal of capacity from its fleet and delays in new ship deliveries. Since the pause in guest operations, the company has accelerated the removal of ships in fiscal 2020 which were previously expected to be sold over the ensuing years. The company now expects to dispose of 18 ships, ten of which have already left the fleet. In total, the 18 ships represent approximately 12 percent of pre-pause capacity and only three percent of operating income in 2019. The sale of less efficient ships will result in future operating expense efficiencies of approximately two percent per available lower berth day ("ALBD") and a reduction in fuel consumption of approximately one percent per ALBD. The company expects only two of the four ships originally scheduled for delivery in 2020, following the start of the pause, to be delivered prior to the end of fiscal 2020, including Enchanted Princess which was delivered last week. The company currently expects only five of the nine ships originally scheduled for delivery in fiscal 2020 and 2021 to be delivered prior to the end of fiscal year 2021. The company currently expects nine cruise ships and two smaller expedition ships of the 13 ships originally scheduled for delivery prior to the end of fiscal year 2022 to be delivered by then.

Based on the actions taken to date and the scheduled newbuild deliveries through 2022, the company's fleet will be more efficient with a roughly 13 percent larger average berth size per ship and an average age of 12 years in 2022 versus 13 years, in each case as compared to 2019.

Update on Bookings

While the company believes bookings in the first half of 2021 reflect expectations of the phased resumption of its guest cruise operations and anticipated itinerary changes, as of September 20, 2020, cumulative advanced bookings for the second half of 2021 capacity currently available for sale are at the higher end of the historical range. The company believes this demonstrates the long-term potential demand for cruising. Pricing on these bookings are lower by mid-single digits versus the second half of 2019, on a comparable basis, reflecting the effect of future cruise credits ("FCC") from previously cancelled cruises being applied. The company continues to take bookings for both 2021 and 2022.

The company is providing flexibility to guests with bookings on sailings cancelled by allowing guests to receive enhanced FCCs or elect to receive refunds in cash. Enhanced FCCs increase the value of the guest's original booking or provide incremental onboard credits. As of September 20, 2020, approximately 45 percent of guests affected by the company's schedule changes have received enhanced FCCs and approximately 55 percent have requested refunds.

Total customer deposits balance at August 31, 2020, was $2.4 billion, the majority of which are FCCs, compared to total customer deposits balance of $2.9 billion at May 31, 2020. The decline in customer deposits is consistent with previous expectations. As of August 31, 2020, the current portion of customer deposits was $2.1 billion with $0.1 billion relating to fourth quarter sailings. Approximately 60 percent of bookings taken during the three weeks ended September 20, 2020 were new bookings as opposed to FCC re-bookings, despite minimal advertising or marketing.

Recently, Yield Optimization and Demand Analytics ("YODA"), the company's cutting-edge dynamic price recommendations and inventory management program, was selected as a finalist for an Operations Research award called the Franz Edelman. As a company focused on creating memorable experiences for its guests, it's quite an achievement to be recognized as a finalist to this award alongside companies like Intel, IBM, and Walmart.

Increasing Liquidity

Carnival Corporation & plc Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer David Bernstein noted, "As of the end of the Third Quarter, we had over $8 billion of available cash and additional financing alternatives to opportunistically further improve our liquidity profile. We have recently begun to optimize our capital structure with the early extinguishment of debt on favorable economic terms and the extension of debt maturities. In addition, with the re-launch of our fleet, we saw a good opportunity to improve our balance sheet with an equity offering. So last month we announced an at-the-market or ATM equity offering program. However, once we fully resume guest cruise operations, we expect our cash flow potential will build a path to further strengthen our balance sheet and return us to an investment grade credit rating over time."

Due to the pause in guest operations, the company has taken significant actions to preserve cash and secure additional financing to increase its liquidity. Since March, the company has raised $12.5 billion through a series of financing transactions, including the following transactions since May 31, 2020:

• Borrowed an aggregate principal amount of $2.8 billion in two tranches under a first priority senior secured term loan facility on June 30, 2020.

• Issued $1.3 billion aggregate principal amount of second priority senior secured notes in two tranches on July 20, 2020.

• Entered into Debt Holiday amendments, deferring certain principal repayments otherwise due through March 2021. (Certain export credit agencies have offered a 12-month debt amortization and financial covenant holiday ("Debt Holiday")).

• Completed a registered direct offering of 99.2 million shares of Carnival Corporation's common stock and used the proceeds to repurchase $886 million of its 5.75% Convertible Senior Notes due 2023 on August 10, 2020.

• Issued $900 million aggregate principal amount of second priority senior secured notes on August 18, 2020.

• In September 2020 we entered into an equity distribution agreement with sales agents pursuant to which we may, from time to time, offer and sell shares of Carnival Corporation's common stock having an aggregate offering price of up to $1.0 billion through the sales agents (the "ATM Offering"). As of October 2, 2020, we sold 23 million shares for net proceeds of $352 million under the ATM Offering.

In September 2020, we borrowed $610 million under an export credit facility.

As of August 31, 2020, the company has a total of $8.2 billion of cash and cash equivalents.

Currently, the company is unable to predict when the entire fleet will return to normal operations, and as a result, unable to provide an earnings forecast. The pause in guest operations continues to have a material negative impact on all aspects of the company's business, including the company's liquidity, financial position and results of operations. The company expects a net loss on both a U.S. GAAP and adjusted basis for the quarter and year ending November 30, 2020.

The company's monthly average cash burn rate for the third quarter 2020 was $770 million, which was in line with the anticipated monthly cash burn rate. The company expects the monthly average cash burn rate for the fourth quarter of 2020 to be approximately $530 million. This results in an average monthly burn rate for the second half of the year of $650 million as previously disclosed. This rate includes approximately $250 million of ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses, working capital changes (excluding changes in customer deposits), interest expense and committed capital expenditures (net of unfunded export credit facilities) and also excludes scheduled debt maturities as well as other cash collateral to be provided. The company continues to explore opportunities to further reduce its monthly cash burn rate.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.21 + 1.67%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 69.83 + 7.02%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.26 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 18.08 + 6.42%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first ocean liner (over 20,000 tons) to have her engines and funnel located far aft?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was first cruise ship fitted with a podded propulsion system, and what year did that ship enter service?

Answer - It was the Elation of the Carnival Cruise Line built in 1998.
courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselm


Cruise News - October 5, 2020

Costa Smeralda Restarts On October 10 From Savona
After the successful restart of cruising by Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema, Costa Cruises today announced that starting Oct. 10 Costa Smeralda will also return to cruise operations with new and enhanced health protocols.

For the restart of its flagship, the first ship in its fleet to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), Costa Cruises has designed a new one-week itinerary dedicated to the rediscovery of the best of Italy. A total of five cruises are scheduled, from Oct. 10 to Nov. 7, that will allow guests to visit beautiful Italian cities of art and natural parks of rare beauty, as well as taste traditional local cuisine.

The first call on the itinerary is Savona, from where guests can also visit nearby destinations such as Genoa or Finalborgo. The second call is La Spezia, with excursions to Cinque Terre, Lerici, Florence or Pisa. The next call is Cagliari, followed by Naples, with the possibility to visit Sorrento, Pompei and the Royal Palace of Caserta. The last two destinations on the itinerary are Messina, with excursions to the Etna volcano and Taormina; and Civitavecchia, which offers visits to Rome and Tarquinia.

Like the other two Costa ships that have already returned to service, the Costa Safety Protocol will be in place on board Costa Smeralda. The protocol, developed by the company together with scientific experts, includes new operational measures that address the COVID-19 situation, fully compliant with the provisions defined by the Italian and European authorities.

The Costa Safety Protocol considers every aspect of the cruise experience, from booking to returning home. Key measures include antigen swab tests for all guests and crew before embarkation, temperature checks while disembarking and returning to the ship, visits to destinations only with protected excursions and physical distancing onboard and at the terminals. In addition, with a reduction in the number of passengers, the enhanced protocols include new ways of using onboard services, improved sanitization and medical services, and the use of protective face masks when necessary.

Costa Smeralda, which was christened in Savona this year on Feb. 22, is a tribute to Italy, the result of an extraordinary creative project designed to exalt and bring the best of Italy to life in a single location. Italian design is the main feature of the CoDe - Costa Design Museum, the first museum built on a cruise ship. The onboard highlights fit perfectly into this extraordinary context: from the Solemio Spa to the areas dedicated to entertainment; from thematic bars, in collaboration with major Italian brands, to the 16 restaurants and areas dedicated to the "food experience," including a new restaurant dedicated to families with children.

Costa Smeralda is a travelling "smart city," where sustainable technologies and circular economy concepts are applied to reduce environmental impact. By utilizing LNG, currently the maritime industry's most advanced fuel technology for significantly improving emissions, Costa Smeralda is able to almost completely eliminate sulfur oxide emissions (zero emissions) and a 95 to 100% reduction in particulate matter. The use of LNG also significantly reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide and CO2.

The ship's daily water requirement is met by the direct transformation of sea water through the use of desalination plants. Energy consumption is reduced to a minimum level thanks to an intelligent energy efficiency system. There is also 100% separate waste collection and recycling of materials such as plastic, paper, glass and aluminum, which are carried out on board.

Starting on Nov. 14 2020, Costa Smeralda is scheduled to resume her one-week itinerary in Italy, France and Spain, again departing from Savona. Costa is working with the national and local authorities of the countries included in this itinerary, with the goal of offering guests a safe and enjoyable holiday experience through the implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol both on board and in all destinations.

Enchanted Princess Officially Joins Princess Cruises Fleet
The newly completed Enchanted Princess was delivered to Princess Cruises today in an official handover ceremony presented via live streaming video from the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. With the arrival of this 145,000-ton, 3,660-guest ship, Enchanted Princess expands the Princess Cruises global fleet of MedallionClass vessels.

The ceremony was virtually attended by executives from Carnival Corporation & plc including Micky Arison, Chairman of the Board of Carnival Corporation; Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation; Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Carnival Australia and Carnival UK; and Jan Swartz Group President of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia. Fincantieri was represented by CEO Giuseppe Bono.

Enchanted Princess is the 100th cruise ship built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. This milestone is significant for both companies since Crown Princess was the first ship to launch Fincantieri into the modern passenger ship building business, when it was delivered in 1990. The finalization of Enchanted Princess also marks the first ship to be completed during the time of COVID. In fact, Fincantieri was one of the first businesses to reopen in Italy, helping to energize the economy, while operating in new and innovative ways to ensure a safe and productive work environment.

"We officially welcome Enchanted Princess into the Princess global fleet and recognize the strong bond between Carnival Corporation, Princess Cruises and Fincantieri, our long-standing shipbuilder partner," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "Fincantieri shares the Princess spirit of delivering the highest level of excellence, and we know they will also share in our enthusiasm with pride when the ship welcomes its first guests."

Enchanted Princess represents an evolution of the design platform used for her sisterships - Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Majestic Princess and the most recently introduced Sky Princess - offering an elevation of spectacular style and elegance that is distinguished by Princess. The cruise ship introduces new dining experiences, the most pools and whirlpool hot tubs ever, world-class entertainment venues and the breathtaking Sky Suites, offering expansive views from the largest balconies at sea.

"We are so proud to deliver the new Enchanted Princess today and celebrate a major milestone of completing our 100th vessel built here at Fincantieri," said Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri CEO. "I must acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the shipbuilding team and yard workers who changed course in new and unfamiliar ways to complete construction on Enchanted Princess during the global pandemic. Thank you to Princess Cruises for your partnership and belief in our ability to complete this complex project."

On MedallionClass ships, the OceanMedallion wearable device transforms vacations by making the entire cruise experience effortless, delivering highly personalized service, and enabling touchless interactive experiences and entertainment. Among enhancements, guests enjoy expedited boarding; on-demand food, beverage, retail and service delivery; keyless stateroom entry; contactless payment; friends and family locator; anywhere wagering; interactive games; and movies/live TV on the go.

Enchanted Princess also features the best Wi-Fi at sea, MedallionNet, on board so guests can stay connected to the things they love and share vacation memories with ease. MedallionNet offers unprecedented connectivity that's fast, unlimited, reliable, and affordable with an access point in every stateroom, so guests can stream favorite movies, shows, games and music; connect to favorite social media sites; and video chat from anywhere on the ship.

First introduced on Sky Princess and now Enchanted Princess, are the new luxury Sky Suites with inclusive amenities, attentive service and a dedicated Suite Experience Manager. In addition, Enchanted Princess features Take Five, the only jazz theater at sea, celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz.

Swartz added, "The heart and soul of the ship are always its team, and I know she is in good hands with our dedicated crew watching over her with great care and pride. We look forward to brighter days ahead, when we can officially welcome the first Enchanted Princess guests to enjoy all this beautiful ship has to offer."

Enchanted Princess is scheduled to arrive in North America in December 2020, for a season of Caribbean cruises.

World Navigator, Atlas Ocean Voyages' First Expedition Ship, Floats Out
With nine months until launch, Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Navigator was floated out at West Sea Viana Shipyard in Portugal. The 'float out' marks the first time World Navigator enters the water and floats of her own accord. Now in wet dock, the small expedition ship is being outfitted with elegant and luxurious amenities and décor. Meanwhile, construction of World Traveller, Atlas' second expedition ship, is already in progress, and her keel was also laid at West Sea Viana Shipyard. Designed for seasoned and fun-seeking travelers to immerse in active and awe-inspiring experiences in less-trodden, bucket-list destinations, World Navigator and World Traveller will launch in July 2021 and mid-2022, respectively. Guests will enjoy one of the industry's most-inclusive experiences with the luxe-adventure cruise brand's signature All Inclusive All the Way. In addition to World Navigator and World Traveller, three additional expedition ships are on order for delivery by the end 2023.

"Our first ship's float out is a momentous milestone for Atlas Ocean Voyages," said President Alberto Aliberti. "We are another major step closer to welcoming World Navigator and launching Atlas' authentic, once-in-a-lifetime adventures in the some of the world's most extraordinary places. We take care of the details so guests can focus on enjoying Atlas' luxe-adventure journeys with their family and friends, part of our signature All Inclusive All the Way. These have been very appealing for travelers with a pent-up desire to explore again. They and our valued travel advisor partners have responded very positively since we opened reservations – so much that we are the only cruise brand to have ordered new ships this year."

Atlas Ocean Voyages' All Inclusive All the Way makes it one of the most inclusive cruise brands in the industry. Guests enjoy greater peace of mind and seamless adventures, beginning with included complimentary roundtrip air travel from major North American gateways to the remote and captivating destinations where Atlas sails.

A 'first' for the industry and an example of how the brand is innovating with the evolving priorities of general travel, Atlas is also including emergency medical evacuation insurance with every booking. Guests can rest assured that they will expeditiously obtain the appropriate attention in case of a medical emergency. The insurance covers emergency medical transportation from the ship to a local treatment center, as well as return transportation to home or a medical facility close to home, as required.

On extended voyages, guests also enjoy MAX SHORE, complimentary three- to five-night, overland immersions that bring guests to the must-see attractions and cultural gems only found inland. These free 'vacations-within-vacations' deliver more once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such as hot-air ballooning over Pamukkale's mineral pools and petrified forest; glamping under the Jordanian stars and catching sunrise over Petra; and even touring the infamous Chernobyl power plant and overnighting in the exclusion zone, with more to be announced. MAX SHORE itineraries are also All Inclusive All the Way, with transportation, meals, beverages, premium lodging, and most of all, access.

Shipboard, experienced, inquisitive and fun-seeing travelers will find community with like-spirited guests as they revel in the ship's welcoming and lively lounges. With All Inclusive All the Way, guests can be more carefree and enjoy features such as complimentary prepaid gratuities; premium wine and spirits and international craft beers; coffees and smoothies; Wi-Fi; L'Occitane bath amenities; complimentary shore excursions in select ports; Michelin-inspired dining; binoculars onboard; coffee, tea and personalized bar service in every room; butler service in suites; and engaging and knowledgeable service from every staff and crew member.

For her inaugural season, World Navigator will embark on seven- to 24-night itineraries in the Holy Land, Black and Mediterranean Seas, followed by nine- to 13-night itineraries in the Caribbean, South America and on Antarctic expeditions for winter 2021/22. Atlas' newly constructed, safe, clean and green, small expedition ships foster a refined and convivial ambience and can accommodate up to 196 guests. World Navigator and her sister ships are Polar Category-C and Ice Class-1B certified, with all of the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures incorporated into their design.

Holland America Line's Rotterdam Reaches Next Building Milestone
In anticipation of Rotterdam's float-out next week, Holland America Line celebrated the ship's coin ceremony today, Thursday, Oct. 1, at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Italy. Following Italian shipbuilding tradition, Mai Elmar, executive director of Cruise Port Rotterdam in the Netherlands, served as the ship's madrina and participated in the festivities.

During the socially responsible ceremony, Dutch coins minted in 1872 to honor Holland America Line's first Rotterdam were welded to the outside deck of the ship to bring good fortune, followed by a blessing by the shipyard chaplain. In attendance were Antonio Quintano, director of the Fincantieri Marghera Shipyard; Cyril Tatar, Holland America Group's vice president of newbuilding services; and Nico Bleichrodt, vice president, international sales, for Holland America Line.

"We are pleased to honor the coin ceremony tradition and celebrate this milestone that signals less than a year until Rotterdam's delivery," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "With a name like Rotterdam, there is no other person more ideal than Mai Elmar to serve as the ship's madrina. Mai's name is synonymous with the cruise industry in the port city of Rotterdam and she has been a tremendous champion of our brand for decades. We're thrilled to have her take on this special role."

On Oct 7 Rotterdam's drydock will be filled with water and the ship will be floated out to begin the next stage of construction at an outfitting pier. Rotterdam is scheduled to be delivered July 30, 2021.

For many years, Elmar has dedicated much of her time to the city and port of Rotterdam. Since 2000, she has grown Cruise Port Rotterdam from zero to 102 cruise ships that have visited yearly. She was the first chief marketing officer of Rotterdam city and now serves as executive director of Cruise Port Rotterdam. Elmar was instrumental in designing the brand policy and strategy of the city. From 2011 to 2013, she was director of the ss Rotterdam, the famed hotel ship and former flagship of Holland America Line.

In 2005 Elmar was named Mrs. "Harbor Man of the Year" and received the Wolfert van Borselen medal from the mayor for her efforts for the city of Rotterdam. In 2016 she was made a Knight of the Order of Oranje Nassau, which is awarded for longstanding meritorious service to society, the State or the Royal House.

The third in the Pinnacle Class series, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests, measure 99,800 gross tons and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi's Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Café. Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with an exclusive collection of world-class performances each night — from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King's Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard.

Throughout the ship, Rotterdam will showcase Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam is the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line and the 17th ship constructed for the brand by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which most recently built Nieuw Statendam.

Following Rotterdam's Premiere Voyage departing Aug. 1, 2021, the ship will spend its inaugural summer season in northern Europe. Naming details have not been finalized and will be announced at a later date.

Azamara Will Set Sail Again for the 2021 Europe Season with New Greek Country-Intensive Voyages
Destination-focused cruise brand – Azamara – has announced the decision to pause operations until the 2021 Europe season and return to service on March 20, 2021 for Azamara Quest's originally scheduled 12-night Spain Country-IntensiveSM voyage, Azamara Journey's April 9, 2021 voyage from Lisbon to Barcelona, and Azamara Pursuit's new series of Greek Country-Intensive Voyages starting on May 9, 2021. The brand's itineraries are all designed for more in-depth exploration to truly connect to the country's authentic heart of local life and culture. The boutique cruise line has chosen to adjust its sailings as a result of individual country restrictions, as well as guest survey results indicating that Azamara guests will feel more comfortable waiting to cruise until 2021. Compensation options can be viewed here.

"After very careful consideration, we have made the decision to pause operations until the 2021 Europe season, as we are still confronted with the many global challenges resulting from COVID-19," says Azamara's Chief Operating Officer, Carol Cabezas. "We plan to return stronger than ever next season, with reimagined guest experiences that will protect the wellbeing of our guests and crew yet remain true to the Azamara spirit of connecting people to cultures."

Cabezas continues, "As we look at our long-term plan, we have already seen a strong demand to our 2022/2023 voyages, which was announced in mid-September. Within the first week of opening for sale, we experienced three times more bookings for new voyages compared to last year's deployment of 2021 and Winter/Spring 2022 itineraries. This just further reinforces traveler's commitment to cruising."

Azamara is prioritizing the health and safety of its guests, crew and the communities they visit. As part of the Royal Caribbean Group, an expert panel has been assembled called the Healthy Sail Panel. The panel is a group of the best minds and leaders in public health, biosecurity, epidemiology, hospitality and maritime operations. Their insights and recommendations are helping drive the way forward as the company works to strengthen current procedures and create new ones across the entire cruise experience.

Highlights of the upcoming Europe itineraries, including the new Greece Country-Intensive voyage in 2021 include the following:

Setting sail on March 20, 2021, Azamara Quest will start the Europe season with her originally scheduled 12-Night Spain Intensive Voyage, taking guests on an immersive journey through Spain. Starting in Lisbon, Portugal, Azamara Quest will make its way to Seville for an overnight stay to discover the architectural wonders of this Gothic city, including the ornate Alcázar complex and the Seville Cathedral—the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. The itinerary includes an overnight in the dynamic city of Barcelona and overnight stays in Malaga, Spain and Valencia, Spain.

For travelers looking to explore the beautiful Iberian Peninsula, the Iberia Intensive voyage aboard Azamara Journey will begin April 9, 2021. In partnership with Perry Golf, one of the game's leading providers of international golf vacations, this 4-round golf and sightseeing voyage will take guests to seven ports. Embarking from Lisbon and sailing overnight for Portimao, home to The Faldo Course at Amendoeira Golf Resort, for the first round on one of Europe's best clubs. The Royal Seville Golf Club, a Jose Maria Olazabal design, is next along with the city of Seville, whose rich history, excellent wine and tapas will be enjoyed for two days and an overnight. With a late-night stay in Gibraltar, golfers will play Spain's storied Valderrama, consistently rated among the top clubs in continental Europe, while sightseers can take the cable car to The Upper Rock.

The new Greek Country-Intensive series of Voyages beginning May 9, 2021 on Azamara Pursuit will embark from Europe's historical capital city of Athens and sail on to Greece's cosmopolitan island of Mykonos, where travelers can enjoy activities like an authentic Greek cooking class in a Mykonian home, a mosaic-making class, and boat rides along the coast. Additional highlights will include an overnight stay in the iconic Greek island of Santorini and the medieval island of Rhodes, where guests can see the Colossus of Rhodes, another of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World; the "Holy Island" of Patmos; and the island of Crete's Heraklion region to visit the renowned Archeological Museum. The round-trip journey will return back to Athens for the opportunity to further explore ancient sights including the Parthenon and the Acropolis.

Carnival Cruise Line Cancels Some Cruises For November And December
Following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) decision to extend its no-sail order for cruise operations, Carnival Cruise Line is notifying guests and travel agents that it has cancelled cruises from all U.S. homeports except Miami and Port Canaveral for November and December 2020. While operations from Miami and Port Canaveral in November and December are still not certain, Carnival is focusing its initial return to service from those two homeports, whenever that might occur.

Carnival continues to work on protocols and procedures that would allow for the resumption of cruise operations, with a gradual, phased-in approach, designating Miami and Port Canaveral as the first two homeports for embarkations. Cruises currently scheduled for November and December from those two homeports will remain in place for the time being while Carnival evaluates options. However, the cruise line is providing guests booked on cruises in November and December out of Miami and Port Canaveral the ability to voluntarily cancel their reservation and receive the same offer that all other impacted guests are receiving, which includes a combination future cruise credit and onboard credit, or a full refund.

"As we have said throughout this pause, our return to operations will be gradual and phased in. And while we are not making any presumptions, once cruising is allowed, we will center our initial start-up from the homeports of Miami and Port Canaveral," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "The health and safety of our guests, crew and communities we serve remain the cornerstone of our plans and decisions. The patience and support of our guests and travel agent partners have been a huge motivation to our team as we have worked through this unprecedented situation and we are dedicated to getting back to operations when the time is right."

Seabourn Announces Voyage Cancellations For Three Ships
Seabourn announced today that it will cancel upcoming 2020 and 2021 voyages for three cruise ships in its fleet into Spring 2021.

The announcement applies to Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Ovation, and Seabourn Encore. Specific details are as follows:

• Seabourn Odyssey: with its operations pause effective through January 15, 2021.

• Seabourn Ovation: with its operations pause effective through April 18, 2021.

• Seabourn Encore: with its operations pause effective through May 28, 2021.

The decision to cancel additional voyages is a proactive action to deal with the circumstances continuing to evolve from the global response to the COVID-19 situation.

"Our highest priorities are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the people in destinations we visit," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We know our past guests and travelers are eager to travel when the time is right and that time is on the horizon, so I would encourage anyone to look at their calendar and start planning a trip today to let the excitement build."

Guests with impacted cruises will automatically be cancelled and all guests will receive Bonus Future Cruise Credits. They can also request a full refund of monies paid to Seabourn. Specific details are as follows:

• Paid in Full: those guests paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn. Under Deposit: those guests with bookings under deposit will receive a Future Cruise Credit valued at 125% of the deposit amount paid. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

• The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. The amount of non-cruise fare purchases may be transferred to a new booking. Alternatively, guests may request a refund of the monies paid to Seabourn, which will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

Guests and their travel advisors will be sent specific details applicable to their booking. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available on its website first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.96 - 2.29%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 65.25 - 1.27%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.26 - 1.89%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.99 + 1.86%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was first cruise ship fitted with a podded propulsion system, and what year did that ship enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Prior to S.O.S. a different code was used as the International signal for distress. What was the code, what did it stand for, and what was the first large passenger ship to use it to request help?

Answer - The code is CQD; meaning Come Quick Distress. This was used by the liner RMS Titanic after she struck an iceberg in April of 1912. 1992.
courtesy of Patti Stasiak

Some additional facts about SOS and CQD - In Feburary of 1904, the Marconi company suggested the use of CQD for a distress signal. Although generally accepted to mean, "Come Quick Danger," that is not the case. It is a general call, "CQ," followed by "D," meaning distress. A strict interpretation would be "All stations, Distress."

Likewise, contrary to popular belief, SOS is not an abbreviation for anything (...including Save Our Ship or Save Our Souls). According to the 1918 Marconi Yearbook of Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony "...it was adopted on account of its easy radiation and it unmistakable character." The first recorded use of the new SOS call by an American ship was in 1908 by the wireless operator of the ss Arapahoe after the ship lost a propeller. In 1912, wireless operator Jack Phillips first used the CQD call followed by Titanic's call letters MGY. Later, following second Radio Officer Harold Bride's suggestion, Phillips began interspersing SOS with the CQD call.


Cruise News - September 28, 2020

Mardi Gras Departs on Sea Trials
Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras is shown here departing on its sea trials this morning from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland. The vessel will spend 10 days at sea before returning to the dock for final preparations for its departure for the U.S.

The ship has more than 2,600 staterooms, including 180 suites across 11 different categories.

Mardi Gras’ also has six themed zones. These unique areas will include dining, beverage and entertainment options, including restaurants from Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri and Shaquille O’Neal.

Encompassing 21 decks, Mardi Gras will offer a groundbreaking new layout highlighted by Grand Central, a massive atrium with three-deck-high windows overlooking the sea.

The first ship in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Mardi Gras is scheduled to enter service from Port Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 6, 2021, from Port Canaveral’s new Terminal 3 which has been specifically constructed to accommodate Mardi Gras and its LNG propulsion system.

Cunard Announces Return to Mediterranean Cruises and Overnight European Stays
Cunard's detailed the 2021 Queen Elizabeth itineraries today.

The iconic ship will chart three to 14 night voyages around Europe before making her way through Asia to Australia to end the season.

Cunard president, Simon Palethorpe, said, "We are thrilled to announce such a broad new program for Queen Elizabeth, with sailings from Southampton and, later in 2021, from Barcelona.

"Guests wanting to explore Europe can experience captivating journeys from a scenic voyage exploring the British coast, to sailings visiting Norway to Iberia.

"And, for the first time since 2014, Queen Elizabeth will also be sailing a series of fly-cruises in the Mediterranean, departing from Barcelona, and featuring calls including the French Riviera, the west coast of Italy and the islands of Majorca and Corsica.

"Queen Elizabeth will finish her season with a transit through the Suez Canal, crossing the Indian Ocean to Singapore, before venturing to Australia.

"Whether guests have sailed with us before, or are taking a cruise for the first time and want a taster of how special a holiday with Cunard can be, we think there's an ideal itinerary for everyone."

The new program will start in Southampton on April 27th and end on December 19th, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.

The 2021 itineraries will feature a series of overnight port calls to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Rotterdam, Singapore and Auckland, with late evening departures from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rotterdam, Aqaba, Colombo and Fremantle.

Mardi Gras Grand Central Atrium: Form Meets Function
Atriums have been an important part of cruise ship design for decades but leave it to Carnival Cruise Line to break the mold with Grand Central, a transformational three-deck-high space that is one of six themed zones on Mardi Gras, set to debut in February.

A unique twist on the traditional atrium, Grand Central spans Decks 6, 7 and 8 with massive 3,000-square-foot glass panels built into the starboard side of the ship providing guests with impressive views of the ocean and ports of call as they relax in comfortable seating or stroll throughout the space.

According to Glenn Aprile, Carnival's director of new build product development and part of the design team that developed the groundbreaking venue, the idea was to create a space that was as functional as it was eye-catching, while providing guests with that "take your breath away" moment when they first board the vessel.

"Building an atrium into the side of a cruise ship is no easy task and it was a total team effort between our new build management team, engineers, designers, and hotel and entertainment teams to create a space that is as beautiful as it is functional," Aprile said.

During the day, Grand Central serves as a relaxing spot for guests to enjoy a coffee, drink or light fare, people watch, listen to live music, or partake in trivia contests and other leisurely pursuits. At night, Grand Central transforms into an intimate and immersive venue with a rotation of spectacular, soon-to-be-revealed experiences created just for Mardi Gras. Talented performers will interact with 16 individually controlled six- by 14-foot LED screens displaying video and special effects, as well as lasers and aerial feats to create a truly unforgettable entertainment experience.

Aprile noted that "with a ship as innovative as Mardi Gras we wanted to create a multi-functional dining and entertainment space that guests can enjoy day and night, while at the same time providing an intuitive way to get around the ship and creating a dramatic centerpiece that is worthy of our most innovative ship. Grand Central provides all that and more. We are extremely pleased with the results thus far."

Overlooking Grand Central is the multi-level Grand View Bar which like its name implies offers guests a chance to enjoy floor-to-ceiling sea views as they sip custom-cocktails and other libations, amidst awe-inspiring design touches like a virtual waterfall on translucent panels. There's also the Center Stage Bar on the main level. Both venues will feature specialty cocktails inspired by the theme of that evening's entertainment.

Steps away is Java Blue, which in addition to serving coffees, cappuccinos and lattes like other Carnival ships, offers a menu of fresh bakery items, wraps, salads and other light fare throughout the day. The Cherry on Top sweets shop is also nearby for those who want to enjoy a decadent treat, as are the retail shops and casino, providing a variety of fun options for guests to enjoy.

Connecting all of these spaces are a series of spacious and airy promenades and bridges that serve as convenient thoroughfares to other areas of the ship while allowing guests to see all the other happenings on board, adding to the excitement.

Noted Aprile, "We put the engineers and designers to the test here and our teams have taken everything we've learned about shipbuilding and interior design to create a stunning, comfortable and functional environment that truly sets Grand Central apart from other shipboard venues. With its transformation from daytime relaxation to nighttime entertainment, Grand Central is unlike anything that's ever been done on a cruise ship before and our guests are going to love it."

The first North American cruise ship powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Mardi Gras is set to debut from Port Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 6, 2021, operating week-long itineraries from the Space Coast.

Seabourn's Announces 2021 Alaska & British Columbia Season
Seabourn will offer a host of immersive experiences and adventures in Alaska and British Columbia in 2021 aboard the Seabourn Odyssey. The ship will take travelers to explore the vast wilderness and beauty of "The Great Land" as it winds its way through the region next summer during a series of 7-, 10- and 11-day voyages in a way that is unique in the market.

With its small ship, club-like atmosphere and award-winning onboard luxury rivaling any resort, Seabourn is the best way to explore America's Last Frontier for travelers looking to book a vacation for next summer. The intimate size and maneuverability of Seabourn Odyssey, which carries just 458 guests, all in spacious oceanfront suites, most with verandas, assures a privileged view of this great land that is virtually unmatched and where larger cruise ships cannot access.

"Alaska and British Columbia have so much to offer, from amazing wildlife to breathtaking, natural scenery, and unique culture," said Chris Austin, Seabourn's senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales. "Our ultra-luxury voyages and experiences, combined with the splendor of this region, will provide the ultimate Alaska experience that will undoubtedly leave them feeling rejuvenated by the incredible wide-open spaces."

Inspired by the success of the past several seasons, Seabourn has carefully curated an enriching and in-depth schedule for its 2021 season. These include eight innovative 7-day voyages between Vancouver and Juneau, Alaska, which are ideal for a one-week vacation or can be combined into 14-day voyages with no repeated ports. Guests who book the back-to-back voyages can also save up to 15 percent on the cruise fare. Seabourn's 7-day itineraries are unique in the marketplace because they provide a comprehensive Inside Passage experience with ports that aren't visited by most cruise lines.

The schedule will also feature 10- and 11-day voyages sailing between Whittier (Anchorage), Alaska, and Vancouver. Every voyage will include a spectacular glacier experience at either Hubbard Glacier or Tracy Arm/Endicott Arm. In addition, four sailings will visit the remote Glacier Bay National Park, with narration and insider observations by a National Park Service Ranger to enhance the experience.

All the 2021 voyages will offer optional for-charge Ventures by Seabourn expedition-style tours, featuring guided Zodiac and kayak excursions launched directly from the ship, as well as hiking and wildlife viewing. Guests will not only enjoy glaciers, fjords and rustic Alaskan ports that every Alaska cruiser expects, but also signature "hidden gems" like Misty Fjords that larger ships cannot access. These excursions will be led by Seabourn Odyssey's expedition team of naturalists, science, wildlife and historical experts. They will also interact with guests throughout each sailing, including complimentary formal presentations as part of the Seabourn Conversations program, and on deck, pointing out, interpreting and enhancing desirable locations as well as in more casual conversations over meals or at leisure. Guests who can't get enough can get more through team chronicles and photos shared via Seabourn's Voyage Tracker. In addition to Ventures by Seabourn, the line will offer a number of exciting, optional shore excursions for guests to explore the destinations, from whale watching outings and nature walks to helicopter and seaplane adventures. One of the offerings include the line's popular "Enjoy Your Catch" experience, an exclusive culinary experience available at select ports where guests can hook and savor their own personal catch of the day prepared by the onboard culinary team.

Guests can extend their time in Alaska and British Columbia with Seabourn Journeys, pre- and/or post-cruise packages featuring destinations and experiences in treasured locations that cannot be accessed on single-day excursions from Seabourn Odyssey. These include a visit to Banff National Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, aboard the Rocky Mountaineer luxury train.

Costa Cruises Announces Its New 2021 Itineraries
Costa Cruises today announced it will continue its program for the gradual and responsible reintroduction of cruise holidays. Following the presentation of its cruises for the 2020-21 winter season, the Italian company has reshaped its itineraries for the rest of 2021, with the goal of providing guests the best possible cruise experience with enhanced health protocols.

From April through November 2021 Costa Cruises will further extend its Mediterranean offer with a large variety of options and the convenience of multiple ports of departure. Also, summer 2021 will see the return of cruising in Northern Europe, one of the most popular destinations among Costa's guests.

Details of the new itineraries and how to book them will be available shortly at Costa's website and at travel agencies. Costa is working with national and local authorities in the countries on its itineraries to offer guests a safe and enjoyable vacation experience, through implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol in all the destinations included in the new program for 2021.

From March until fall 2021, three ships will be deployed on a regular basis in the Western Mediterranean: Costa Smeralda, the first ship in the fleet powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG); Costa Firenze, its new ship under construction at Fincantieri's Marghera (Venice) yard; and Costa Pacifica, which will be offering 7-day cruises calling in Italy, France and Spain.

Three additional ships will be operating in the Eastern Mediterranean, all on one-week itineraries. Costa Deliziosa will sail to the Greek islands, Costa Luminosa will visit Greece and Croatia and Costa Magica will be going to Greece and Malta.

During the 2021 summer season, Costa will have four ships cruising in Northern Europe. Costa Fortuna and Costa Diadema will be sailing on one-week cruises to the Baltic capitals and the Norwegian fjords, respectively. Costa Favolosa will be offering spectacular 14-day holidays in Iceland, nine days in the Norwegian fjords and a fortnight in Ireland, Scotland and England. Costa Fascinosa will be operating on a 12-day cruise sailing all the way to the North Cape, and on a 9-day itinerary in the Baltic Sea.

During spring and fall 2021, Costa Fortuna, Costa Diadema, Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa will all be operating in the Mediterranean. Costa Diadema will visit Israel and Turkey on two separate alternating two-week cruises. Costa Fortuna will offer Western Mediterranean mini-cruises while Costa Favolosa will be deployed on mini-cruises in the spring and 10-day cruises to Morocco in the fall. Costa Fascinosa will sail on 10-day holidays bound for Lisbon.

The other cruises previously scheduled between March and November 2021 and not included in the new program will be canceled. Costa is making the necessary arrangements to inform travel agents and the customers concerned, who will be guaranteed the option of rebooking in accordance with the applicable requirements of consumer protection law.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.31 + 7.14%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 66.09 + 8.86%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.27 - 10.17%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.68 + 11.27%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Prior to S.O.S. a different code was used as the International signal for distress. What was the code, what did it stand for, and what was the first large passenger ship to use it to request help?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Some of the inside cabins P&O's s/s Canberra had an interesting feature that made them brighter than inside cabins on most other cruise ships. What was the feature?

Answer - The interesting feature that Canberra had that made some of the inside cabins were windows that looked out into a "court". These cabins, called "court cabins", were built in such a way that the they were staggered down the corridor and the wall of the innermost cabin jutted slightly passed that of the more outer cabin and had a window placed there - thus light from the outside would penetrate these inside cabins. They were usually 3 deep. 1992.
courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe


Cruise News - September 21, 2020

Costa's Cruises Return To Genoa
Costa Cruises announced that Costa Diadema will depart from Genoa today. She is the second Costa Cruises ship to return to the sea with a complement of guests. Costa Diadema's itinerary, which marks the return of Costa's cruise holidays to Liguria and the Western Mediterranean, only includes calls at Italian ports and is reserved for guests resident in Italy. After Genoa, her next ports of call will be Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia.

"At last Costa's cruises are back in Genoa and Liguria, which has been our home for over 70 years. We're setting sail again gradually and responsibly, with safety protocols that are unrivalled in the tourism industry. The initial response from our guests has been most encouraging," said Group CEO, Costa Group & Carnival Asia Michael Thamm. "As Europe's number one cruise company, we have a responsibility to turn this difficult situation into an opportunity to come back stronger than ever, and to continue to develop the tourism and economic ecosystem of the destinations. We want to do it in close cooperation with all our stakeholders and we believe that Liguria has a leading role to play with us in becoming a model for others to follow based on four cornerstones: state-of-the-art infrastructures, like the new passenger terminals in Genoa and La Spezia; sustainable innovation, to improve environmental performance in ports, such as shore power, LNG; improved destination management and tourism development to better respond to the needs of today's travelers and expand our value creation capabilities; and support to the social needs of the community, for which we are committed through our Costa Crociere Foundation."

Liguria is featuring prominently in Costa's return to cruising, with a total of around 80 calls in this part of north-west Italy between now and the end of the 2020/21 winter season. From October 10 Savona will be the homeport for the flagship Costa Smeralda, the company's first vessel powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), which will be offering one-week cruise holidays in the Western Mediterranean. After a series of cruises intended for the French market, from November Costa Diadema will also be moving to Savona, for 12-day cruises to the Canary Islands and 14-day cruises to Egypt and Greece. Costa Firenze, the new ship under construction at Fincantieri's Marghera yard, will make her debut on December 27, again sailing in the Western Mediterranean, and calling at Genoa and La Spezia every week. Meanwhile, from October 22 to mid-December La Spezia will see the arrival of AIDAblu, operated by the Costa Group's German brand AIDA Cruises, on 7-day cruise vacations devoted entirely to Italy. Costa's cruises sailing on or after September 27 will be available for all European citizens who are residents in any of the countries listed in the most recent Prime Ministerial Decree.

The embarkation of guests on Costa Diadema for today's first departure from Genova has been carried out in accordance with the procedures set out in the Costa Safety Protocol, which contains new operational measures in response to the COVID-19 situation, dealing with all aspects of the cruise experience both on and off the ship. The procedures, devised with the support of independent public health experts, are in line with – and in some cases even stricter than – the health protocols defined by the relevant Italian and European authorities. On arrival at the Stazione Marittima in Genoa, with staggered entrance times by virtue of online check-in, each guest had their temperature scanned, submitted a health questionnaire and was subjected to an antigen rapid swab test, with the possibility of an additional molecular swab test for any suspected cases. Prior to embarking, crew members were also subjected to a molecular swab test at intervals and were quarantined for 14 days. In addition, each member of crew will have a monthly test.

Starting with the first call at Civitavecchia/Roma, the destinations on Costa Diadema's itinerary can be visited only by joining the protected excursions organized by the company for small groups of people on sanitized means of transport, and subject to temperature measurement before leaving and rejoining the ship. The shipboard amenities and entertainment have been redesigned based on the procedures in the Safety Protocol but still retain the distinguishing features of a Costa cruise holiday, thanks partly to the physical distancing enabled by the ship's reduced capacity. For example: repeat performances of the live shows for smaller audiences; a switch from buffet restaurants to seated dining; reduced capacity and minimum distance between tables in the theater, show lounge, bars and restaurants; staggered entrance for some facilities such as the spa, pools and kids' miniclub with a limited number of people allowed in at any one time. Also, there is enhanced cleaning and sanitization in all areas on board, including cabins, while the shipboard health services have been expanded. Other health & safety measures are the use of face masks whenever necessary, hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the ship and the introduction of self-service clinical thermometer kiosks.

Sun Princess and Sea Princess to Leave Princess Cruises Fleet
Princess Cruises, today announced the sale of two of its ships, Sun Princess and Sea Princess, to undisclosed buyers. The sale of these vessels is in line with parent company Carnival Corporation's plan to accelerate the removal of less efficient ships from its fleet.

"Sun Princess and Sea Princess contributed to significant growth in Australian cruising," said Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz. "Both ships defined the premium cruise experience with Australians and New Zealanders spending close to 14 million nights aboard these ships. While it is never easy to say goodbye to any ship in our fleet, this will allow us to deploy newer ships enhancing our offerings for Australia cruisers and focus on bringing into service exciting newbuilds like the upcoming delivery of Enchanted Princess."

The first ship in the Sun Class, Sun Princess was introduced in 1995 debuting in the Caribbean and was amongst the largest ships in the world at the time. The 2,000-guest Sun Princess also sailed in Alaska and Panama Canal, among other destinations, before being homeported in Australia in October 2007. Sun Princess also helped us open the Japanese market in 2013 as the first foreign-flagged cruise ship to offer cruises designed specifically for the Japanese.

The 2,000-guest Sea Princess became synonymous with World Cruises, having completed six full world cruises since 2013. During her time based in Australia, Sea Princess travelled the equivalent of 35 times around the world. Prior to joining Sun Princess in Australia, Sea Princess sailed in Europe and Alaska as well as the Caribbean, including serving as a homeport ship in Barbados in the mid- to late-2000s.

Due to the imminent departure of these two ships from the fleet, Princess Cruises will cancel published itineraries which include:

• Sun Princess sailings from December 28, 2020 through August 14, 2021

• Sea Princess sailings from December 23, 2020 through November 9, 2021

Guests with bookings will be notified, and along with their travel advisors, will receive information on how to book another Princess Cruise when operations resume. Guests who prefer a refund will be accommodated.

P&O Cruises Cancels All Cruises Until Early 2021
P&O Cruises, part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL;NYSE: CUK), today confirmed an extension to its pause in operations, with all sailings cancelled until early 2021.

All Caribbean cruises are cancelled until the end of January 2021 and all cruises from and to Southampton are cancelled through February as well as Arcadia and Aurora, which have already been cancelled through to the end of their spring world cruises. Further details of the specific sailings and dates are highlighted on the company's website www.pocruises.com

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said:

"With evolving restrictions on travel from the UK, unfortunately it is necessary to cancel these itineraries.

"These further cancellations vary according to ship as well as complexity and length of itineraries, advice and guidance regarding ports of call and current air availability for fly/cruises.

"We are continuing to monitor the overall situation closely and will certainly reintroduce cruises should the opportunity arise and it is feasible to do so."

Ludlow confirmed that the company is working with several of the "most brilliant minds in science as well as government at the highest level" on the approved and enhanced health protocols, which will be in place once the company resumes sailing.

He continued: "Whilst adherence to the protocols on board and ongoing vigilance will be critical, this will always be coupled with providing the well-deserved and memorable holidays for which we are known, with all the standout moments on board and experiences on shore. This is what we have always done and will continue to do."

Ludlow concluded on an optimistic note saying: "We cannot wait for restrictions to ease, borders to open and for us to once again be able to set sail for a new beginning."

All guests with bookings on a cancelled cruise will be notified and will automatically receive an enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit or alternatively a 100% refund by filling out a web form.

CLIA and its Cruise Line Members Announce Mandatory Core Elements of Health Protocols
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity, announced today the adoption of mandatory core elements of a strong set of health protocols to be implemented as part of a phased-in, highly controlled resumption of operations. A critical next step, now that initial sailing has begun effectively with strict protocols in Europe, is the resumption of operations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America (the Americas), which encompass the largest cruise market in the world.

Informed by leading scientists, medical experts, and health authorities, the core elements are the product of extensive work by CLIA oceangoing cruise lines and their renowned teams of science and medical experts, including the recommendations from the Healthy Sail panel established by Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. released today, as well as MSC's Blue Ribbon group and Carnival Corporation's collection of outside independent experts. Other considerations included the effective protocols developed for the successful sailings in Europe by MSC Cruises, Costa, TUI Cruises, Ponant, Seadream, and others.

The CLIA Global Board unanimously voted to adopt all of the listed core elements for an initial restart of limited operations in the Americas and, most important, operations related to U.S. ports. These core elements will be continuously evaluated and adjusted against the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the availability of new prevention, therapeutics, and mitigation measures.

Coinciding with the release of the core elements agreed to by CLIA ocean-going cruise line members, the Association issued the following statement:

Guided by world-class experts in medicine and science, CLIA and its ocean-going cruise line members have outlined a pathway to support a phased-in, highly-controlled return to passenger service in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America with protocols that promote the health and safety of passengers, crew and the communities visited. The core elements mirror the successful resumption of cruising in other parts of the world and include 100% testing of passengers and crew prior to boarding — a travel industry first. Initial cruises would sail on modified itineraries under stringent protocols that encompass the entirety of the cruise experience, from booking to debarkation. With support and approval of regulators and destinations, cruises could feasibly begin during the remainder of 2020.

The core elements, which are applicable to CLIA member ocean-going cruise ships subject to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) No Sail Order, will also be submitted by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) on behalf of its members in response to the CDC's Request for Information (RFI) related to the safe resumption of cruise operations. CLIA's response to the RFI also details other measures that address the entire cruise experience from booking to disembarkation.

Highlights include:

• Testing. 100% testing of passengers and crew for COVID-19 prior to embarkation

• Mask-Wearing. Mandatory wearing of masks by all passengers and crew onboard and during excursions whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained

• Distancing. Physical distancing in terminals, onboard ships, on private islands and during shore excursions

• Ventilation. Air management and ventilation strategies to increase fresh air onboard and, where feasible, using enhanced filters and other technologies to mitigate risk

• Medical Capability: Risk based response plans tailored for each ship to manage medical needs, dedicated cabin capacity allocated for isolation and other operational measures, and advance arrangements with private providers for shoreside quarantine, medical facilities, and transportation.

• Shore Excursions: Only permit shore excursions according to the cruise operators' prescribed protocols, with strict adherence required of all passengers and denial of re-boarding for any passengers that do not comply.

Implementation of these elements on board every oceangoing ship subject to the CDC's No Sail Order is mandatory and requires written verification of adoption by each company's CEO. These elements do not preclude additional measures that may be adopted by individual lines. Measures will be continuously evaluated and adjusted against the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the availability of new prevention and mitigation measures.

Leaders representing governments, destinations, science and medicine responded favorably to the core elements announced by CLIA today, including the following:

• Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, who co-chairs the Americas Cruise Tourism Task Force, said: "Cruise tourism is incredibly important to our regional economies and we are eager for its safe return to help revitalize our economies and share the beauty of our destinations. As part of the Americas Cruise Tourism Task Force, government leaders in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, have been working productively with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), CLIA, and the cruise lines to implement guidance for cruise resumption and good progress is being made. The cruise lines' commitment to conduct 100% testing for all passengers and crew is significant and unique as compared to any other sector. Having this core element in place as part of an initial phase of operations adds a layer of confidence for us as we continue to work together developing guidelines and protocols so we may safely welcome cruising back to our regions."

• Governor Mike Leavitt, Co-Chair, Healthy Sail Panel and Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), said: "The industry's commitment to create best practices for mitigating the risk of SARS-CoV-2, is a necessary step. By embracing best practices to protect public health, cruise lines can provide a clear pathway for resuming operations in a way that safeguards the health of our guests, crew and communities. There have been many lessons learned and advances made by medicine and science over the past six months, and we need to continue to advance our approach going forward."

• Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said: With the development of these rigorous safety protocols, the cruise industry is once again demonstrating its leadership and commitment to public health in travel and tourism. Simply put, the cruise industry has taken such a thorough and comprehensive approach to caring for public health. Based on the effectiveness of the protocols implemented by CLIA members in Europe and other parts of the world, I am confident that a slow and gradual resumption of cruise operations in the Americas can be done responsibly in the coming months.

• Christos Hadjichristodoulou, Professor of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Thessaly said: "What we have seen is that when procedures are in place and they are rigorously followed, the risk is minimized. The core elements of the approach developed by the cruise industry which adopt scientific evidence-based EU guidelines for COVID-19, go further than I have seen in almost any other industry—and serve to demonstrate this industry's commitment to upholding the highest standards of health and safety onboard ships and within the communities they visit. I am satisfied with the engagement of the cruise industry to follow the EU guidelines and impressed with the level of detail that has gone into the planning process. I look forward to continued progress as cruises resume on a limited basis with a phased-in approach."

• Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, said: "As the Travel & Tourism sector continues in its fight for survival, the cruise industry is proving the importance of testing as effective tool to resume travel. The core elements of the approach, developed by the cruise industry are in line with WTTC's Safe Travels protocols, which were designed to enable travellers to identify destinations around the world that have adopted our health and hygiene global standardised protocols. An industry wide testing programme is the key to recovery and the cruise industry is leading by example, testing all passengers and crew prior to boarding.

Implementing this comprehensive programme, and adopting these enhanced measures, serves to demonstrate the commitment of this industry to uphold the highest standards of health and safety. We are impressed with the level of detail that has gone into the planning process and look forward to seeing the continued progress as cruises resume on a limited basis and phased-in approach."

CLIA president and CEO Kelly Craighead offered the following comment:

"We recognize the devastating impact that this pandemic, and the subsequent suspension of cruise operations, has had on economies throughout the world, including the nearly half a million members of the wider cruise community and small businesses in the Americas who depend on this vibrant industry for their livelihoods. Based on what we are seeing in Europe, and following months of collaboration with leading public health experts, scientists, and governments, we are confident that these measures will provide a pathway for the return of limited sailings from the U.S. before the end of this year."

According to CLIA's most recent Economic Impact Study, cruise activity in the United States supported over 420,000 American jobs and generates $53 billion annually in economic activity throughout the country prior to the pandemic. Each day of the suspension of U.S. cruise operations results in a loss of up to $110 million in economic activity and 800 direct and indirect American jobs. The impact of the suspension has been particularly profound in states that depend heavily on cruise tourism, including Florida, Texas, Alaska, Washington, New York and California.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.29 - 19.94%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 60.71 - 14.42%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.26 - 1.67%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 14.99 - 11.67%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Some of the inside cabins P&O's s/s Canberra had an interesting feature that made them brighter than inside cabins on most other cruise ships. What was the feature?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - The ships that entered Cunard's fleet in 1971 and 1972 were the Cunard Adventurer (Sunward II, Triton, Coral) and the Cunard Ambassador. They were replaced in 1976 and 1977 by the Cunard Countess and Cunard Princess. 1992.
courtesy of Patrick Race, Berkeley CA.


Cruise News - September 14, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Modifications To Fleet And Sailing Plans For Certain Ships
Carnival Cruise Line today announced the sale of Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination, which had previously been put on long-term lay-up status and removed from published itineraries.

The sale of Carnival Fascination, launched in 1994, and Carnival Imagination, introduced in 1995, is in line with Carnival Corporation's plan to accelerate the removal of less efficient ships from its fleet. This follows the sale of Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration which took place in July. Upon return to operations, Carnival will still operate four upgraded Fantasy-class ships – Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise – which feature additional balcony staterooms as well as enhanced dining and entertainment options that are part of the line's Fun Ship 2.0 enhancement program.

"While we are sad to see Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination leave our fleet, it is a necessary move as it allows us to focus on ships that offer the greatest variety of features and stateroom accommodations for our guests," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Related to its ongoing ship enhancement program and the current pause in cruise operations, Carnival also advised guests and travel agents that it is delaying the return to guest operations for four ships until after scheduled dry dock enhancements are completed in the first half of 2021.

The four impacted ships and resulting cancelled itineraries include:

• Carnival Magic itineraries operating from Miami will be cancelled until Mar. 13, 2021

• Carnival Paradise itineraries operating from Tampa will be cancelled until Mar. 19, 2021

• Carnival Valor itineraries operating from New Orleans will be cancelled until Apr. 29, 2021 (including the transatlantic cruise from New Orleans on Jan. 25, 2021 and the return from Barcelona on Feb. 26, 2021)

• Carnival Spirit itineraries operating from Brisbane will be cancelled through May 16, 2021, with the first sailing being the Singapore to Brisbane voyage embarking on June 12, 2021.

"This extended pause in our operations has also impacted shipyard availability, and we've had to reschedule required dry docks. As we continue to work through issues related to our eventual return to operations, we are committed to providing our guests and travel agent partners with certainty where we can, although we regret disappointing our guests. We appreciate the continued support and understanding of our guests and hope to welcome them back on board soon," Duffy said.

Costa Cruises Presents New Itineraries For Winter 2020-2021
Costa Cruises announced this week that it is ready to set sail for a 2020-2021 winter season rich in exciting holiday opportunities. After announcing in recent days the restart of its cruise operations starting this month with Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema, the Italian company has redesigned its itineraries from October 2020 to March 2021 with the gradual return of an increasing number of ships, always offering enhanced safety as a result of new health procedures.

Costa cruises in winter season 2020-2021 will be open to European citizens residing in the countries included in the decree of the Italian Government*, while limitation to Italians only is confirmed in September for the first three departures of Costa Deliziosa (September 6, 13, 20) and the first departure of Costa Diadema (September 19). Details and opening of sales of the new winter itineraries will soon be available on the company's website and from travel agencies. Costa is working with the national governments and the local authorities to offer a safe and positive experience for all its guests through the effective implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol in all destinations.

The big news will be the debut of the new ship Costa Firenze, under construction at Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera (Venice), representing inimitable Italian taste and drawing inspiration for her design from the beauty of Florence during the Renaissance. Starting December 27, guests will be able to discover this latest generation vessel on a seven-day tasteful holiday experience in the Mediterranean, visiting Savona, La Spezia, Naples, Valencia, Barcelona and Marseille.

The one-week itinerary of Costa Deliziosa from Trieste, dedicated to the rediscovery of the best of Italy, will be available also for European residents on September 27 and October 4. Starting from October 10, Costa Deliziosa will sail on one-week cruises from Trieste to Greece.

Costa's offer in the Mediterranean will be further enriched by the flagship Costa Smeralda, the first Costa ship fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), planned to depart on October 10 from Savona for itineraries in the West Mediterranean. Starting from November, Costa Diadema will offer two wonderful travels: a 12-day itinerary to the Canary Islands and a 14-day itinerary to discover Egypt and Greece. The World Cruise is also confirmed with Costa Deliziosa, departing on January 3, 2021, for its 13th edition.

Apart from the itineraries included in this announcement, all the other cruises scheduled from October 2020 to March 2021 are canceled. Costa is informing the impacted guests and travel agents. They will be guaranteed a reprotection in accordance with the applicable legislation. Costa Favolosa cruises in the Caribbean are also excluded from cancellations; the company will give information about these cruises as soon as possible.

With the aim to provide the latest health safety procedures for guests, crew and local communities, the Costa Safety Protocol will be implemented on 2020-21 winter season cruises. The Costa Safety protocol is a comprehensive set of procedures in response to the COVID-19 situation, relating to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore. The protocol measures include antigen swab tests for all guests before embarkation and protected shore excursions. Supported by a panel of independent scientific experts in public health, the Costa Safety Protocol is consistent with the health protocols defined by the Italian government and European authorities, and goes even beyond. The protocol will be constantly updated based on the evolution of the scenario and medical knowledge.

In September Costa Deliziosa first three departures (September 6, 13, 20) and Costa Diadema first departure (September 19) are reserved for guests residing in Italy. Starting from September 27, 2020, cruises will be on sale also for residents in the European countries included in Annex 20 of the Italian Prime Minister's Decree of September 7, List A and List B, namely: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Should new Government Decrees or provisions on the subject be issued, Costa will immediately adapt its regulations and inform its customers.

Seabourn Announces 2022 World Cruise
Seabourn announced this week that it is offering an unforgettable journey around the globe with its "2022 World Cruise: Extraordinary Horizons," a 145-day voyage on Seabourn Sojourn, visiting 72 extraordinary destinations and ports in 28 countries on five continents.

Seabourn Sojourn will depart Los Angeles on January 11, 2022, and travel westbound, visiting Hawaii, the islands of the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, a number of destinations in Asia, Arabia, Africa, before ending in Athens, Greece, on June 6, 2022. Among the notable highlights is Seabourn's return to Egypt since 2014, with an overnight visit scheduled for Safaga (Luxor), as well as a stop at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The 2022 World Cruise is now open for sale, and the entire itinerary is available on Seabourn's website.

"Our 2022 World Cruise promises to be an extraordinary journey across the world, whether guests take the full world cruise or join us on one of the many segments, they will visit many of the world's most prized destinations and immerse themselves in diverse cultures," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "With so many of us limited on travel this year, booking a Seabourn world cruise for 2022 offers a much-needed extraordinary experience to look forward to and chance to explore the world around us."

Seabourn Sojourn will call at 72 ports and destinations in 28 countries throughout the course of the sailing, featuring a combination of visits to popular marquee ports, cosmopolitan cities and smaller hidden gems. The voyage will include 20 overnights and linger late into the evening in 21 ports, offering guests ample opportunities to explore these fascinating destinations in depth.

There will be three exclusive world cruise events planned for guests booked on the full 145-day voyage, as well as local shows, regional cuisines, and palate-pleasing wines for all guests to enjoy as they sail around the globe. In addition, the World Cruise will include two of the line's most popular signature events available to all guests on a complimentary basis: Caviar in the Surf beach barbecue at Ko Kood, Thailand; and "Evening at Ephesus" at Kusadasi, Turkey, featuring a private classical concert in the ancient ruins under the stars.

A sampling of destination highlights includes:

• Sydney, The Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Coast - Try "sand-tobogganing" on the world's tallest dune, and marvel at the blue-white beauty of the breathtaking Whitsunday Islands. Two days in Cairns highlight the ship's exploration of Queensland's coast with awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Great Barrier Reef and the primeval rain forests of Daintree National Park. Darwin in the Northern Territory provides two days of WWII history, jumping saltwater crocodiles and timeless Aboriginal culture.

• Marvels of Japan, Korea and China - Discover the sun-swept islands of "Japan's Caribbean" - Amami-ringed with coral reefs and Okinawa's ancient Shureimon Gate, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take in Kagoshima's picturesque skyline, dominated by snowcapped Sakurajima volcano, and contemplate Hiroshima's poignant Memorial Peace Park. Overnight stays in bustling Busan, South Korea, and Nagasaki, Japan, provide a memorable crescendo to three full days in China's luminous Yangtze River showplace – Shanghai.

• Southeast Asian Treasures - Zhujiajian's bridges preserve a medieval Chinese character now hidden in enclaves among Hong Kong's towering skyscrapers. An overnight stay in Vietnam's Halong Bay invites guests to absorb its ethereal beauty at every hour. Seabourn Sojourn sails right up the Saigon River to the heart of fascinating Ho Chi Minh City. Ko Kood's unspoiled, white sand beach is the ideal setting for the line's extravagant Caviar in the Surf beach barbecue, with complimentary watersports.

• Egypt, Petra and the Suez Canal - The two-day visit at Safaga provides guests with ample time to explore Luxor's immense sculptural colonnades and avenues, tour the temples of Luxor and Karnak with its vast Hypostyle Hall of carved lotus columns, and much more. Later, from Aqaba, discover the long-lost Nabatean city of Petra carved into the walls of a natural canyon fortress.

• The Holy Land and Aegean Empires - Few places integrate antiquities with a modern, cosmopolitan outlook better than Israel. The two-day stay at Haifa is filled with UNESCO World Heritage landmarks of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Judea and Galilee, as well as the Bauhaus White City, colorful markets and seaside promenades of Tel Aviv. Complete your epic Seabourn Sojourn voyage tracing the roots of European history from Minoan Bronze-age Crete to the marble streets of Ephesus and onward to the sophisticated symmetry of the Parthenon standing high atop modern Athens.

The line is planning an array of optional shore excursions in more than 25 ports with designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites thanks to its unique partnership with UNESCO. The world cruise will also feature a number of optional, mid-voyage overland excursions where guests will disembark at one port and rejoin the ship at another port, providing them with a more in-depth experience at certain destinations and sites such as the Luxor & the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, outback adventures in Australia, the magnificent Taj Mahal in India, UNESCO World Heritage sites in China and Cambodia, and more. Also available are optional Seabourn Journeys, offering guests an immersive longer pre- and post-cruise land-based excursion to and from select destinations such as Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney.

Carnival Corporation Appoints Peter Hutchison as SVP, Deputy Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Carnival Corporation today announced the appointment of Peter Hutchison as senior vice president, deputy chief ethics and compliance officer, effective Sept. 25, 2020. Hutchison will report directly to Peter C. Anderson, chief ethics and compliance officer.

Serving for the past three years as vice president, governance, at Carnival UK, Hutchison will play an integral role in supporting the overall implementation of the ethics and compliance program with primary responsibility for overseeing and further improving the investigative function for incidents involving health, environment, safety and security (HESS).

Drawing upon his broad experience, as the new deputy chief Hutchison will also oversee compliance risk activities, facilitate open communications across the company's cruise line brands, monitor local program implementation, advocate for appropriate systems and processes to improve program oversight, and will spearhead important program initiatives.

More specifically, as the new leader of Carnival Corporation's incident analysis group, Hutchison will be responsible for all efforts to investigate certain Health, Environmental, Safety and Security issues – including near misses. He will also manage the team of investigators, and assist in improving the investigative functions throughout the entire organization.

"Peter Hutchison has a rare combination of skills and experience that will enable us to further strengthen our investigations function," said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation. "Not only will he help us get better at identifying the root causes of incidents, Peter will also help ensure that the lessons learned will be shared broadly throughout our organization."

Anderson added, "This is yet another step in our continuing effort to build a world-class compliance program. We are thrilled to have Peter join our team."

Hutchison began his career as a deck cadet in 1996 with P&O Cruises, serving at sea for 14 years, including positions at Princess Cruises, P&O Australia and Cunard. Since 2010, Hutchison has served within various shore-side management positions in the areas of HESS compliance, including positions supporting the company's policy development, internal audits and investigations. He previously served as manager, investigations, at Holland America Line and director of marine investigations for Carnival Corporation. From 2013 to 2017, Hutchison worked at a maritime law firm and a ship management company, both based in London.

Since returning to Carnival UK in 2017, Hutchison has held the position of vice president, governance, at Carnival UK, leading the International Safety Management code (ISM) and HESS teams.

Hutchison is a master mariner and holds a diploma in nautical science from Glasgow College of Nautical Studies in Scotland and has attended the Applied Marine Accident Investigation course at Cranfield University, England.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 17.85 - 3.67%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 70.94 - 1.40%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.30 - 6.25%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.97 * 7.87%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - the Cunard sisters of 14,000 tonnes were the "Cunard Ambassador" which became a converted livestock transporter as "Procyon" and eventually was broken up in 1984 and the "Cunard Adventurer" which was sold to Kloster in 1977 for NCL as "Sunward II" then she was onto Epirotiki as the "Triton" in 1992.
courtesy of Jeff Ross


Cruise News - September 7, 2020

Costa Cruises To Restart Cruise Operations This Week
Two cruise line brands from Carnival Corporation have announced plans to resume sailing operations, with Italy-based Costa Cruises scheduled to restart sailing in Italy this Sunday, Sept. 6, followed by Germany-based AIDA Cruises scheduled to resume on Nov. 1.

The brands will begin in a gradual, phased-in manner with six initial ships and limited itineraries, becoming the first two of the company's nine global cruise line brands to resume operations. The initial cruises will take place with adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols developed with government and health authorities to follow shoreside mitigation guidelines.

Costa Cruises is restarting sailing with two initial ships departing from Italian ports beginning Sept. 6. Costa Deliziosa will offer weekly cruises from Trieste on Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27, visiting five destinations in southern Italy, including Bari and Brindisi in Puglia, Corigliano-Rossano in Calabria, and Siracusa and Catania in Sicily. Costa Diadema will follow on Sept. 19 from Genoa, calling at Italian ports in the western Mediterranean, including Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia. The one-week itineraries are being reserved exclusively for Italian guests.

AIDA Cruises will resume its cruise operations with two of its ships, sailing from the Canary Islands in November 2020, followed by an additional two ships departing from the western Mediterranean and United Arab Emirates beginning in December 2020. The first of the brand's cruises is set to begin Nov. 1, with seven-day voyages to and departures from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, with AIDAmar, followed by sailings from Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife with AIDAperla on Nov. 7. In December, AIDA Cruises will resume sailing operations in the Western Mediterranean with AIDAstella departing on seven-day cruises from Palma, Mallorca, beginning Dec. 12. Additionally, AIDAprima will offer seven-day cruises from Dubai starting Dec. 11 and from Abu Dhabi beginning Dec. 15.

In working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises have developed a comprehensive set of health and hygiene protocols to help facilitate a safe, healthy return to cruise vacations. Both brands are providing guests with detailed information about enhanced restart protocols, which will continue to be modeled after shoreside health and mitigation guidelines as defined by each brand's respective county, and approved by the flag state, Italy. Protocols will be updated based on evolving scientific and medical knowledge related to mitigation strategies.

Costa Cruises has developed the Costa Safety Protocol for its fleet, including new operating procedures supported by independent scientific experts in public health and consistent with the health protocols defined by the Italian Government and European authorities. The comprehensive set of measures and procedures cover key areas such as crew health and safety, the booking process, guest activities, entertainment and dining, and medical care on board, as well as pre-boarding, embarking and disembarking operations, which will include testing for all guests prior to embarkation. Additional information on the Costa Safety Protocol is available here.

"Our highest responsibilities and top priorities are always compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the communities we visit and our crew," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. "We are engaged with a large number of medical experts and scientists around the world, and they are providing us with extremely valuable insight that we are using to develop new and enhanced protocols that are in the best interest of our guests, crew and overall public health. In areas of the world where community spread is largely mitigated and authorities are supportive of a gradual return to service over time, we look forward to again welcoming guests on board."

More broadly, as the understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, Carnival Corporation has been working with a number of world-leading public health, epidemiological and policy experts to support its ongoing efforts for developing enhanced protocols and procedures for the return of cruise vacations. Among the experts are:

• Dr. Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology, University of Reading School of Biological Sciences (UK)

• Michael S. Diamond, MD, PhD, Herbert S. Gasser professor of medicine, molecular microbiology, pathology & immunology; and associate director, Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

• Michael Z. Lin, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology, bioengineering, and chemical and systems biology; and principal investigator, The Lin Lab, Stanford University School of Medicine

• Dr. Jewel Mullen, MD, MPH, associate dean for health equity, University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School

• Emil C. Reisinger, MD, full professor of internal medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine and director of the Division of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Rostock, Germany

• Dr. Stefano Vella, MD, former director, National Center for Global Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian National Institute of Health); and adjunct professor of global health, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart) in Rome

These advisors and others have been working with the company and its brands to review existing and enhanced procedures and provide supplemental advice based on the latest scientific evidence and best practices for protection and mitigation.

Technology At The Telm Of Royal Caribbean Group’s Healthy Return To Sailing
Royal Caribbean Group is driven by a mantra of “continuous improvement,” committed to developing new experiences and solutions that make for memorable vacations. The Group’s innovative spirit and passion, spanning five decades, has led to the industry’s most ambitious and unexpected engineering feats. From an ice rink for open skating in the Caribbean and one-of-a-kind experiences that blur the line between technology and entertainment, to the fastest internet at sea, creative solutions are more important now than ever.

As travelers and travel professionals continue adapting to the world around them, Royal Caribbean Group is dedicated to further evolving cruises into safer and healthier vacations. At the forefront of this will be the Group’s existing digital innovations designed to eliminate what has typically been considered primary pain points of travel - lines, crowds and paper.

Just this year, the Group released a reimagined safety drill that was in development for more than a year. The new approach, Muster 2.0, encourages higher levels of safety and health by reframing a process originally designed for large groups into a faster, more personal approach.

At the core of Muster 2.0 is the cruise company’s digitally advanced, guest-empowering mobile app, first introduced in 2017 and now available on many Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara ships. Initially developed for guests to make the most of their vacation, the app’s capabilities make it a powerful solution that can integrate today’s new crucial health and safety practices, such as physical distancing and minimizing common touchpoints.

A number of features and capabilities currently within the app – released in different combinations across the cruise company’s 63-ship fleet – are being built on for current times.

Primary mobile app functionalities include:

Just announced: Muster 2.0 – one of the least-loved, but most important, parts of a cruise vacation – the safety drill – is transformed from a process designed for large groups of people into a faster, more personal “one-to-few” approach that guests can complete at their own time.

Scheduled arrival time – staggered arrival times for guests help eliminate crowds by managing the ebb-and-flow in parking lots, drop-off areas and terminals to allow for physical distancing from car to stateroom.

Expedited boarding – by completing check-in with the app, scanning passport information and uploading a ‘selfie’ security photo, guests can generate a mobile boarding pass and qualify for an expedited boarding process. Debuted in 2018, the innovative, digital experience minimizes check-in and security lines at ports, allowing guests to get on board seamlessly and safely in minutes.

Digital key – guests can unlock staterooms with their smartphones by downloading a digital key, available in just a few taps for select ships and staterooms.

Stateroom automation – using their smartphone, guests have the ability to control elements inside their stateroom, such as the TV, lighting, window shades and temperature, limiting touchpoints while achieving higher levels of stateroom customization.

Onboard account – guests can view onboard charges and credits in real time from anywhere on the ship without waiting in line or on hold.

Daily planning – onboard activities, entertainment shows, dining and shore excursions are viewable and open for reservations all through the guest mobile app.

As Royal Caribbean Group continues to evolve the cruise vacation, additional advancements will be released, some of which will make the greatest impact from behind the scenes. These innovations will further demonstrate the Group’s commitment to exceeding guests’ expectations as well as their standards for health and safety on a cruise.

Cunard Announces Classic World Voyage On Queen Mary 2 For 2022
Cunard's announced details for the 2022 classic World Voyage on Queen Mary 2.

The iconic ocean liner will make calls to Greece, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia and Bali, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Italy and Portugal. Sailings through the Suez Canal feature on both the outbound journey and return.

Cunard president, Simon Palethorpe, said, "Our guests have told us they want memorable destinations which combine intrinsic glamour and heritage. This unique program spans 16 countries, offering a combined 33 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which we hope will combine the perfect blend of exploration on shore and relaxation on board."

The 118 night voyage sets sail from New York on January 3, 2022 and returns on May 1, 2022.

It will include overnight stops in Haifa, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore, plus a late night departure from Colombo.

Palethorpe continued, "This 118 night roundtrip New York voyage can be split into six segments and booked individually, which is tailored to those who want to fully immerse themselves in the Cunard experience for just a portion of the journey. It truly is the ultimate exploration of east meets west experienced from the magnificent setting of the world's only ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2.

"Guests on board will be able to take advantage of a multitude of luxurious offerings whether they want to be entertained, learn something new, get active or simply relax, while the ambience throughout the ship is warm, friendly and inclusive."

Those sailing the full World Voyage will enjoy a welcome on board reception, services of a World Voyage Concierge and use of a private lounge, a gala event ashore and complimentary daily gratuities.

CLIA Releases 2020 Environmental Technologies and Practices Report
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice of the global cruise industry, released today the Global Cruise Industry Environmental Technologies and Practices Report produced by Oxford Economics. The report highlights the progress that CLIA oceangoing cruise line members continue to make towards the development and implementation of advanced technologies and practices to achieve lower emissions, greater efficiencies, and a cleaner environment onboard, at sea and in port.

While cruise ships comprise far less than 1 percent of the global maritime community, the latest report substantiates how cruise lines have taken a leadership role in the adoption of maritime technologies that benefit the entire shipping industry. To date, the cruise industry has invested over $23.5 billion in ships with new technologies and cleaner fuels to reduce air emissions and achieve greater efficiency. This is a $1.5 billion USD increase over the 2019 report findings.

"Even as we have worked to address and overcome the impacts of COVID-19, the cruise industry remains committed to a cleaner, more sustainable future. With over $23 billion invested in ships with new technologies and cleaner fuels, such as exhaust gas cleaning systems and liquified natural gas, I can only imagine what we will accomplish together in the next ten years and beyond," said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). "This report affirms our commitment to environmental sustainability and I commend our members for their continued leadership and demonstration of the highest standards of responsible tourism." vCLIA cruise lines were the first to publicly commit as a maritime sector, to reduce the rate of carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008. As noted in the report, CLIA oceangoing cruise line members continue to work diligently to achieve ambitious goals like this and meet rising expectations. Substantial progress has been achieved in the following areas:

• LNG Fuel* – The 2020 report found 49% of new build capacity will rely on LNG fuel for primary propulsion, a 51% increase in overall capacity compared to 2018.

• Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS)* - More than 69% of global capacity utilizes EGCS to meet or exceed air emissions requirements, representing an increase in capacity of 25% compared to 2018. Additionally, 96% of non-LNG new builds will have EGCS installed, an increase in capacity of 21% compared to 2019.

• Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems - 99% of new ships on order are specified to have advanced wastewater treatment systems (bringing global capacity to 78.5%) and currently 70% of the CLIA oceangoing cruise line fleet capacity is served by advanced wastewater treatment systems (an increase of 5% over 2019).

• Shore-side Power Capability - In port, cruise ships are increasingly equipped with the technology to allow delivery of shoreside electricity, thus allowing engines to be switched off, and there are many collaborations with ports and governments to increase the availability.

• 75% of the new build capacity is either committed to be fitted with shore-side electricity systems or will be configured to add shore-side power in the future.

• 32% of global capacity (up 13% since 2019) are fitted to operate on shore-side electricity in the 14 ports worldwide where that capability is provided in at least one berth in the port.

The progress across these multiple areas demonstrate CLIA's view that it is integral, urgent, and feasible to balance fostering growth with policy and technology changes that help preserve the air and oceans in which the industry operates.

"The cruise industry works every day to advance its responsible tourism efforts and recognizes that continued and greater investment in research is critical to identifying and producing new fuels and propulsion systems," said Adam Goldstein, Chairman of CLIA Global. "This is why CLIA along with other maritime sector partners have proposed to establish and fund a $5B Research and Development Board dedicated to working collaboratively across the sector to identify the technologies and energy sources that will provide additional opportunities to lessen our environmental footprint and meet the ambitious goals set by the IMO."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.53 + 12.44%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 71.95 + 4.52%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.32 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 18.42 + 7.66%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
The ship was the Achille Lauro, formerly the Dutch colonial liner Willem Ruys.

Answer - It was the Turbinia built in 1894. In 1897 the ship made a dramatic unannounced appearance on the Spithead Navy Review.
courtesy of RonR3 at comcast.net


Cruise News - August 31, 2020

AIDA Cruises Will Resume Cruise Operations with Fall and Winter Voyages
AIDA Cruises today announced that it will offer cruises this fall and winter that combine the fascination of a cruise trip with an unforgettable holiday experience to several popular destinations.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conditions are currently not in place in Germany's neighbouring European countries, especially in the north with Norway and Denmark or the Baltic states. For many distant destinations outside of Europe, the Federal Republic of Germany has issued a travel warning or the respective countries have prohibited calls of cruise ships until 2021. As a result, the company has cancelled its previously announced cruises for September and has updated its fall and winter 2020-2021 program to provide its guests and sales partners additional time to plan and book vacations for a safe and enjoyable return to cruise holidays.

As the first ship from the AIDA fleet to begin sailing, AIDAmar will set course on Nov. 1, 2020, for seven-day voyages to the Canary Islands, a popular destination with German vacationers.

AIDAperla will follow on Nov. 7, 2020, and will take over the travel program originally planned for AIDAnova. AIDAmar's voyages will start and end in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. For voyages with AIDAperla, in addition to Las Palmas, AIDA Cruises will offer a second departure port with Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

In the Western Mediterranean, AIDA Cruises will resume sailing operations with AIDAstella on Dec. 12, 2020, where the ship will cast off from Palma, Mallorca, on seven-day cruises to some of the most beautiful cities in the Western Mediterranean.

The treasures of the Orient take center stage during the seven-day AIDAprima cruises that will be offered starting Dec. 11, 2020, from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and from Dec. 15, 2020, from Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates).

"Even though it is currently not possible for cruise ships to call at Norway, which is so important for our voyages to the north, we are confident that the first AIDA ships from Germany will be able to travel to Northern Europe again at the beginning of 2021," says Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises.

AIDA Cruises is in close contact with the responsible authorities and airlines in order to prepare for the restart of its voyages in November and December.

Supported by the theme "With certainty the most beautiful vacation," the company provides information about the enhanced protection measures against COVID-19 at www.aida.de/sichererurlaub.

All AIDA cruises take place in compliance with the requirements of the respective international and national health authorities as well as the enhanced health and hygiene standards of AIDA Cruises. The renowned independent testing company SGS Institut Fresenius and the classification society DNV-GL have reviewed and confirmed the enhanced health and hygiene standards and the processes of preventive measures that AIDA Cruises will implement for the restart of cruise operations.

Silversea's Silver Moon Undergoes Sea Trials
Silversea's new ship Silver Moon is one step closer to welcoming the cruise line's guests, having successfully carried out her sea trials between August 8th and August 20th. Carrying a reduced crew of approximately 320 due to precautionary health protocols, the ship journeyed between Fincantieri's shipyards in Ancona and Trieste, Italy, undergoing a week-long dry-dock period in the latter. With a delivery date set for October 30th, Silver Moon will become the second ship to join Silversea's ultra-luxury fleet in 2020, following the delivery of Silver Origin on June 3.

Silversea's senior officers, external engineers, and representatives from both Fincantieri and the Royal Caribbean Group put Silver Moon through a series of preliminary tests in the Adriatic Sea - including noise, and vibration tests - for three days from August 8th. Once Silver Moon was out of the water in Trieste, stability tests were performed; public spaces were inspected; and engineers applied the finishing touches to the ship's exterior, including the cleaning and painting of the hull, and the polishing of the ship's brass propellers. Secondary tests, including speed tests, were then carried out on the return sailing from Trieste to Ancona. Work has now recommenced on the ship's interior, ahead of the vessel's official delivery in October.

The sister ship of Silversea's Silver Muse, Silver Moon represents the latest accomplishment in the cruise line's long-standing partnership with the illustrious shipbuilder Fincantieri. During the peak months of Silver Moon's construction in Ancona, over 1,000 skilled professionals were working on the ship simultaneously, with over 390 companies contributing to the build. Painted using almost 100,000L of paint, over 15,000 steel plates and profiles were cut to form the ship's superstructure – 920t of which were transported from 755nm away. Approximately 1,690,000m of electric cable were installed by 18 contractors, as well as 60,000m2 of insulation, 450,000kg of air conditioning ducts, and 92,000kg of ventilation ducts. Moreover, over 5,000 automation channels have been installed to link the ship's mechanisms.

vWith over 20 years of experience at Silversea Cruises alone, Captain Alessandro Zanello was at the helm for the launch of Silver Moon's sister ship, Silver Muse, back in 2017, and was also present for the sea trials of Silver Spirit in 2009.

"As my third with Silversea, I must say that Silver Moon's sea trials felt a little surreal after everything that happened in the months prior," says Zanello. "I was originally scheduled to travel to the shipyard in Ancona in April. I was with family in Canada at the time. Unfortunately there were no flights from Canada to Ancona, so I was unable to reach the ship until July. The sea trials themselves felt special, indeed, and were held in unique circumstances. Enhanced health and safety protocols were in place, including temperature screenings, physical distancing, and the wearing of face coverings both on the ship and in the shipyard. Meal hours were extended and we ate with fewer people in the restaurant. During the sea trials themselves, we had far fewer people on board than for those of Silver Muse. Safety was the primary concern. Nevertheless, we managed to carry out all test successfully. I must admit, sea trials can often be stressful, with too many people on the bridge; it was quite pleasant to have a more tranquil environment. Perhaps we will be forced to review our processes going forwards – this could be a positive thing. At the end of the sea trials, we shared a celebratory glass of prosecco with the team from Fincantieri. The ship is coming on nicely and she really is looking spectacular. This is a momentous occasion for all of us; we have worked very hard to reach this point. One of the most special moments for me was going into the dock to see the ship's hull, before and after the painting. A small tradition of mine: I like to take a photo in front of the bulbous bow, when a fresh coat of paint glistens on the hull."

Promoted to the position of Chief Engineer aboard Silver Spirit in 2017, Guido Capurro participated in his first sea trials with Silversea aboard Silver Moon. Not only is Capurro responsible for the operation of the ship's main and auxiliary engines, but he also directs the onboard technical department, with responsibilities that include air conditioning, plumbing, lifeboat engines, and launching apparatus.

"While all essential technicians from Silversea and Fincantieri were able to attend the sea trials, some external engineers were unable to fly and so could not be present. Approximately half the number of people were on board compared to regular sea trials. Nevertheless, we were able to carry out all tests successfully. These were my first sea trials with Silversea and it is always spectacular to see the ship at its peak performance, and to see how the automation and safety devices react to the sudden change in demand. Everything went really well and the ship's responses exceeded expectations. I was thrilled to see the ship's propellers out of the water once again, as they were polished during the dry-docking period in Trieste. The better they are polished, the better the ship's performance. The hull was painted with a special antifouling with a very low roughness, which is an important task in optimizing the performance of the ship."

The son of a Captain, Hotel Director Paolo Percivale proudly participated in the launch of both Silver Spirit in 2009 and Silver Muse in 2017, before bringing his expertise aboard Silver Moon. As Hotel Director, he will oversee the entire hotel operation on board, managing a team of over 350 crewmembers to deliver exceptional service to Silversea's guests.

"Just 10 days after we joined the shipyard at the beginning of March, the lockdown was implemented and everything came to a halt. We lived through the lockdown in Ancona. Guido and I, along with several other members of the team, were working from apartments in the city until the end of April, which was very difficult. After a spell back home once the lockdown ended, I returned to the shipyard on July 1st. It's great to finally see Silver Moon nearing completion and to experience the various enhancements we have made from Silver Muse. In the Dolce Vita Lounge, for example, a beautiful bar has been installed as the space's focal point, while La Dame Restaurant has been enriched with hand-crafted Lalique crystal panels. All public areas and suites are looking remarkable – I just can't wait to welcome our guests on board, enjoying these new atmospheric venues. I am especially excited to see the reactions of our guests to our inspiring new S.A.L.T. programme, and our new S.A.L.T. venues, which is sure to be more than positive. She is a beautiful vessel, indeed."

"Silver Moon successfully passed her sea trials and we are now nearing the ship's delivery," says Giovanni Stecconi, Director of Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard. "We look forward to celebrating that momentous occasion together with Silversea, a cruise line whose growth we have contributed to with pride and determination, thanks to ambitious projects such as the 'Muse' class, of which Silver Moon is a part."

"Silver Moon will be an innovative addition to our expanding fleet of ultra-luxury ships," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's President and CEO. "Building on the success of our beloved flagship Silver Muse, Silver Moon will push boundaries in travel to unlock meaningful experiences for our guests around the world. Our pioneering new S.A.L.T. programme is just one way in which travellers will delve deep into destinations, and I look forward to personally welcoming our guests aboard Silver Moon in the near future. I extend my gratitude to the entire team at Fincantieri, who have demonstrates their skill and know-how; Captain Zanello and his officers, who have worked tirelessly; Silversea's committed shoreside team for their enduring professionalism; and our colleagues at the Royal Caribbean Group, who continue to strengthen our cruise line with their invaluable support. The fact that our beautiful Silver Moon nears completion, despite such challenging circumstances, is a testament to the exceptional resilience and expertise of all involved in her build. For this I am very proud."

Seabourn Announces Additional Voyage Cancellations For Three Ships
Seabourn announced today that it will cancel additional voyages for three cruise ships in its fleet as a part of its pause in global ship operations.

The announcement applies to Seabourn Ovation, Seabourn Encore, and Seabourn Quest with each ship having a different "effective through" date. Specific details are as follows:

• Seabourn Ovation: with its operations pause effective through January 3, 2021

• Seabourn Encore: with its operations pause effective through January 6, 2021

• Seabourn Quest: with its operations pause effective through May 10, 2021.

Seabourn is also announcing a revised delivery date for its new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, which is now scheduled for December 1, 2021. The delay is because of shipyard closures at T. Mariotti earlier this year as part of responses to COVID-19, which resulted in disruptions to the overall construction and finishing process for the ship.

The brand announced that Seabourn Quest will operate the line's 2021-2022 award-winning Antarctica experience. Seabourn Venture will debut in December 2021 with a series of first-ever "Norwegian Winter" voyages where they may be able to see the Northern Lights. Guests will be able to place a future cruise deposit on the new Northern Lights itineraries.

Details about the revised inaugural season for Seabourn Venture are currently being finalized and will be announced in October. The brand has opened a wait list for guests interested in the voyages from December 2021 to April 2022. Guests currently booked on the inaugural voyage for Seabourn Venture will be offered the opportunity to sail on the new inaugural itinerary on a priority basis before it is open for sale to the general public. Additional details on rebooking for other affected Seabourn Venture voyages will be shared with booked guests and travel advisors in mid-October.

Due to the redeployment of Seabourn Quest to Antarctica, the line is cancelling Seabourn Quest's Panama Canal voyages scheduled for November 7 - December 19, 2021.

Seabourn is continuing to assess the timing to resume operations on Seabourn Odyssey in the Caribbean. As a courtesy to guests booked on December sailings aboard Seabourn Odyssey, final payment will now be due 60 days prior to departure.

Seabourn had previously announced a pause in its global ship operations from March 14 through May 2021, depending on the ship, effectively cancelling all voyages for those ships scheduled to operate during that timeframe. The decision to cancel additional voyages is a proactive action to deal with the circumstances continuing to evolve from the global response to the COVID-19 situation.

"Our utmost priority is the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the people in destinations. We recognize the long lead time for planning an ultra-luxury Seabourn experience and with that in mind, we proactively announce the cancellation of these additional voyages," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "We are working very closely with science and medical advisors as well as our source and destination markets to develop protocols for the ultimate return to operations."

Seabourn will be communicating changes for voyages scheduled to depart in the extension timeframe with all booked guests and their travel advisors.

Guests who are currently confirmed on one of the affected voyages on Seabourn Quest's Antarctica, Amazon, Panama Canal, South America and Transatlantic cruises scheduled between November 7, 2020 and April 25, 2021, will automatically be re-accommodated in the same suite on the same voyage during Seabourn Quest's 2021-2022 season, at rate paid, within 30 days, as well as receive a shipboard credit that is calculated based upon voyage length. The shipboard credit is $300 per suite for voyages up to 20 days in length and $500 per suite for voyages of 21 days or more.

Guests booked on impacted cruises on Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation will automatically be cancelled and all guests will receive Future Cruise Credits. They can also request a full refund of monies paid to Seabourn. Specific details are as follows:

• Paid in Full: those guests paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

• Deposited bookings: those guests with deposited bookings will receive a Future Cruise Credit valued at 125% of the deposit amount paid, up to the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. The amount of non-cruise fare purchases may be transferred to a new booking. Alternatively, guests may request a refund of the monies paid to Seabourn, which will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

Carnival, Princess and P&O Cruises Announce Extension of Pause of Operations in Australia
Carnival Cruise Line said today that in light of continuing Australian travel restrictions, it is extending its pause in departures from Australia through 2 December 2020 for Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor.

Carnival had previously announced pauses through 29 October and is now notifying guests and travel agents about these new cancellations.

Carnival will resume cruising when the time is right and will do so with enhanced health measures developed in conjunction with government authorities, public health experts, local ports of call and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Princess Cruises is extending its pause in cruise operations in Australia through December 12, 2020 which includes cruises throughout Australia and New Zealand.

P&O Cruises Australia is extending its rolling pause in operations from Australia to 2 December this year as the cruise line continues to take guidance from authorities, public health experts and society on restarting sailing.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Appoints Six Sales Directors
Atlas Ocean Voyages today announced the appointment of six additional Sales Directors. Cathy Kusuma has been named Regional Sales Director, Eastern U.S.; Rolf Logan, Regional Sales Director for Central U.S.; Anthony Cooper, Regional Sales Director for Western U.S.; and Eric Bacon, Regional Sales Director for Canada. Furthermore, Alyssa Logan has assumed the role of Director of Charter and Incentive Sales; Lisette Martinez Rusian as Director of Sales and Marketing Operations; and Michelle Rodriguez-Suarez as Virtual Sales Manager. The new appointments are in response to the great, positive interest from the travel advisor community and the increasing recognition of Atlas' distinctive luxe-adventure expeditions among travelers. The new Sales executives will report to Atlas Ocean Voyages' Vice President of Sales and Trade Partnerships Brandon Townsley and all are dedicated to supporting the travel selling community and fostering unshakable relationships with the company's valued travel advisors.

"We are very happy to welcome the new Sales executives to the Atlas Ocean Voyages Sales Team," said Brandon. "They bring to Atlas their immense expertise as well as their understanding of the market and the needs of hardworking travel advisors. Cathy, Rolf, Anthony, Eric, Alyssa, Lisette and Michelle will continue to build strong and mutually rewarding relationships between Atlas and luxury travel advisors throughout the U.S. and Canada. They will also promote Atlas' distinctive luxe-adventure expeditions and share how travel advisors can earn a $750 or $500 gift card immediately for each deposited booking through the GET PAID NOW incentive program."

Atlas Ocean Voyages remains committed to supporting Travel Advisors with GET PAID NOW. Travel Advisors immediately receive a $750 or $500 gift card for each deposited booking in a Suite or stateroom, respectively, plus earn 15 percent commission when their clients sail. For more information about Atlas Ocean Voyages' GET PAID NOW, Travel Advisors can visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com/partneroffers.

Atlas Ocean Voyages' President Alberto Aliberti said about the progress of the brand: "Ten years in planning, Atlas Ocean Voyages is the realized vision of Mystic Invest [Atlas Ocean Voyages' parent company] Chairman and Portuguese Entrepreneur Mário Ferreira. When we opened Atlas in late 2018 in the U.S., it was three of us table-hopping in cafés and conference rooms. We have now grown into a proud team of nearly 40 and are the only cruise company in 2020 to order new ships – not one, but four – to join World Navigator before 2023. This year has been unprecedented, to say the least, and it's important to thank our valued travel advisor partners and stakeholders, who believed in this new cruising concept and supported us every step of the way to help us reach this point. We look forward to bringing luxe-adventure journeys to the world and inaugurate the safe, clean and green World Navigator in July 2021."

The newly appointed Sales executives are all veteran industry executives, totaling more than 160 years of collective experience with cruise and travel companies such as American Express Travel, Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise Planners, Delta Airline Vacations, Delta Queen Steamboat Co., Holland America Line, Hurtigruten, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, PPI Group, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Travel Impressions.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is an all-inclusive, luxury cruise brand defined by simple elegance and will deliver authentic, thrilling, and once-in-a-lifetime adventures in the world's most extraordinary and remote destinations aboard the small expedition ship, World Navigator. World Navigator will sail seven- to 24-night itineraries in the Holy Land, Black and Mediterranean Seas in the summer 2021, followed by nine- to 13-night itineraries in the Caribbean, South America and Antarctica in winter 2021/22.

Experienced, fun-seeking and like-spirited travelers will find community aboard Atlas Ocean Voyages' all-inclusive luxury expedition ships and revel in welcoming and lively venues to share their day's exploits. Guests indulge in 98 luxe suites and staterooms, all with an ocean view and most with a private balcony. All Atlas Ocean Voyages journeys include complimentary round-trip air travel from select U.S. and Canada gateways; prepaid gratuities; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; Wi-Fi; L'Occitane bath amenities; a free shore excursion in select ports on every itinerary; international gourmet dining; coffee and tea service; and onboard binoculars and butler service in suites.

Safety is at the core of Atlas Ocean Voyages' Polar Category-C and Ice Class-1B certified expedition ships, and all of the most-modern hygiene and cleanliness measures are being incorporated into their design. World Navigator's construction in Portugal is on schedule, and sister-ships World Traveller, World Seeker, World Adventurer and World Discoverer will join the fleet before the end 2023.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is also committed to preserving the breathtaking locales and waters that its ships visit for future generations to enjoy, and is among the first to employ the latest conservation and sustainability technologies, including a hybrid power management and propulsion system that maximizes fuel efficiency and consumes as low as one-fifth the fuel compared to conventional cruise ship systems. Additionally, World Navigator and her sister ships utilize underwater, forward-looking sonar to confidently navigate coastal, harbor and icy polar waters, and feature an alternate hydro jet propulsion system, which helps the ship quietly cruise up to five knots without disturbing marine wildlife for incomparable up-close encounters.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.48 + 2.11%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 68.84 + 6.84%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.32 - 7.25%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 17.00 + 2.21%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the cruise ship that was was overtaken by terrorists in 1985? One passenger was killed in the incident. Also, what was her original name?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first steam turbine powered vessel and where did she make her debut?

Answer - It was the Turbinia built in 1894. In 1897 the ship made a dramatic unannounced appearance on the Spithead Navy Review.
courtesy of liberte50 at t-online.de


Cruise News - August 24, 2020

Cunard Extends Pause In Operations And Confirms Itinerary Changes For 2021
In an acknowledgement of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance and the complexity of operating world voyages, luxury cruise line Cunard will be extending its pause in operations from November 2020 until March 25, 2021 for its ship Queen Elizabeth; until April 18, 2021 for Queen Mary 2 and until May 16, 2021 for Queen Victoria.

Cunard president Simon Palethorpe said:

"We are so sorry to all those guests who were due to sail on any of the cancelled voyages and for the disappointment this news will cause. After very careful consideration and reviewing the latest guidance, we simply do not feel it would be sensible to start sailing again with our current schedule so we have reviewed future itineraries.

"Queen Elizabeth has returned to the UK and with ongoing uncertainty over the re-opening of many ports and countries, it is sadly not practical to continue her planned itineraries for 2021.

"Therefore, in addition to the pause in operations, all of Queen Elizabeth's sailings due to depart between March 26, 2021 and December 13, 2021, in and around Australia, Japan and Alaska, will be cancelled.

"These voyages will be replaced with a programme of shorter duration European holidays ranging from three to 14 nights, departing from Southampton. These will start at the end of March 2021, with a series of scenic voyages around the coast of Cornwall, the west coast of Ireland and the Scottish Isles. There will also be short breaks to Amsterdam which will include an overnight in the city, as well as voyages to northern and southern European destinations including Norway and the Iberian coast, with several of these itineraries featuring overnight city stays.

"Queen Elizabeth's new programme will be completed with a series of seven and 14 night voyages in the Mediterranean, sailing from Barcelona. It is an exciting new programme which I am sure will have great appeal."

All new itineraries on board Queen Elizabeth will be available to book from September 29, 2020.

Palethorpe continued "Additionally, recognising the immense disappointment of those on board Queen Mary 2's curtailed World Voyage this year, and the cancellation of her World Voyage in 2021, we are delighted that Queen Mary 2 will sail a classic World Voyage in 2022. This will replace her scheduled sailings departing January 3, 2022 to April 3, 2022, including the voyage to South America."

The new 118 night adventure will depart roundtrip from New York on January 3, 2022 and include calls to Greece, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia and Bali before returning to Southampton via Abu Dhabi, Oman, Italy and Portugal. The ship will sail through the Suez Canal both on the outbound journey and on return. It will be bookable, either as a full world voyage or as one of six sectors, from September 8, 2020.

"Given the current uncertainty, the complexity of our scheduled World Voyage with our international mix of guests visiting many countries and continents, each with its own evolving travel regulations was a very real factor in our decision making."

Cunard will be contacting guests and travel agents who are impacted and, once again, all guests who have had their voyage cancelled will automatically receive an enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit or alternatively can fill in the website form for a 100% refund.

Costa Cruises Introduces COVID-19 Tests For All Guests On Board Its Ships
Costa Cruises continues to work for a responsible and safe start of its operations, scheduled for September, and becomes the first cruise company to earn the Biosafety Trust Certification from RINA, the over 150-year-old testing, inspection, certification and ship classification company that developed the innovative management system certification program.

The certification process, carried out through audits, examines all aspects of life on board and ashore – from the embarkation procedures to hotel services, catering, fitness, relaxation areas and shore excursions – and assesses the compliance of the system with the scheme procedures aimed at the prevention and control of infections.

To obtain certification from RINA, specific training modules for crews have been created in strict compliance with the new health protocols and with the associated shipboard management system implemented by Costa. These training programs reinforce the already strict procedures in place on board Costa's ships, in the embarkation terminals and during shore excursions, introduced with the Costa Safety Protocol, the new health protocol developed by Costa, with the scientific support of independent experts, in response to the COVID-19 situation.

Based on the actual epidemiological situation and considering the opinion of experts, from the first departure of the Costa Deliziosa, scheduled for September 6 from Trieste, and to follow on all ships that will return later into operations, the company will perform the antigenic Covid-19 swab tests to all embarking guests.

The test will be carried out within the wider pre-boarding procedures that have been defined according to the protocols of the health authorities and the Costa Safety Protocol. The quick antigenic test will identify any suspicious cases that may be subjected to a PCR test for further check, thus determining the possibility of embarkation. The company is also offering its guests the option to subscribe a dedicated insurance, with specific services in case of need.

The return of Costa cruises will be progressive and in the name of maximum safety for guests, crews and destination communities. For this reason, the company has chosen to offer itineraries only in Italy, reserved exclusively for Italian guests, for its September cruises. The first ship to sail on September 6 will be Costa Deliziosa, which will sail every Sunday until September 27 offering cruises from Trieste to visit Bari, Brindisi, Corigliano-Rossano, Siracusa and Catania. Costa Diadema will follow on September 19, 2020, with a seven-day cruise from Genoa in the Western Mediterranean, to visit Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia.

Princess Cruises Announces Early 2021 World Cruise Cancellations
Due to restrictions and limitations with border and port access determined by government and health authorities and the continued uncertainty of airline travel, Princess Cruises is cancelling its early 2021 World Cruises and Circle South America cruises on two ships:

• Island Princess 2021 World Cruise sailing from North America, including associated segments and remaining voyages sailing immediately prior

• Pacific Princess 2021 Circle South America sailing from Australia, including associated positioning cruises

"We share in the disappointment of this cancellation for guests of our world cruises because it's a pinnacle cruise vacation experience, booked by some of our most loyal guests," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president.

Guests currently booked on these cancelled voyages will receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare paid. To receive the above FCCs, no action is required by the guest or their travel advisor.

Alternatively, guests can forfeit the bonus FCC offer and request a refund for all money paid on their booking by using this online form. Guests have until September 30, 2020 to elect a refund, or they will automatically receive the default offer listed above.

Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full, in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Name Of Next Excel-class Ship
With the help of celebrity partners past and present, Carnival Cruise Line today announced that its next Excel-class ship arriving in 2022 to coincide with its 50th birthday celebration will be named "Carnival Celebration."

A full roster of Carnival partners, including Kathie Lee Gifford, Guy Fieri and Shaquille O'Neal, unwrapped boxes that revealed the letters of the Celebration name, which is both a throwback to one of the popular early ships in the Carnival fleet, as well as a recognition of Carnival's 50th birthday celebration that will take place in 2022 when the new Carnival Celebration will join the fleet. The video announcement was made across Carnival's social media channels and can be viewed here.

Carnival Celebration will debut from PortMiami in November 2022, and will be a sister ship to Mardi Gras, the first in the Excel series scheduled to enter service on Feb. 6, 2021 from Port Canaveral, Fla. The addition of Carnival Celebration to Miami will maintain PortMiami's position as the top embarkation port for Carnival Cruise Line.

"The name Carnival Celebration couldn't be more perfect for a ship that will be a key component of our 50th Birthday festivities," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Many thanks to our celebrity partners who helped us officially 'unbox the fun' and reveal the name of a ship that promises to be a spectacular addition to our fleet. Carnival Celebration is our 50th Birthday present to our guests!"

Carnival Celebration will include many of the features that have made Mardi Gras one of the most anticipated ships in cruising, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, along with some unique design features created specifically for this vessel.

Carnival's 50th Birthday celebration kicks off in March 2022 – the company's birthday month – with a series of commemorative sailings that will feature special entertainment and itineraries then continue all year long, culminating with the arrival of Carnival Celebration to Miami in November 2022.

Proposed Class Action Case Against Royal Caribbean Dismissed
Plaintiffs in a proposed class action lawsuit brought against Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., as well as other defendants, voluntarily dismissed their amended complaint late last month. The amended complaint alleged that a class of Plaintiffs suffered monetary damages upon Royal Caribbean's COVID-19 related cancellation of a cruise scheduled to host a nursing conference in March of 2020.

Plaintiffs' dismissal came after Royal Caribbean filed a motion to dismiss the class action complaint, arguing primarily that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to a class action waiver located in Plaintiffs' cruise ticket contracts. Royal Caribbean also argued that the amended complaint should be dismissed because it offered refunds to all of the group passengers that requested one, and that at least one of the Plaintiffs actually accepted and deposited the full refund.

"We are pleased that the Plaintiffs saw the merit to the arguments we raised in our motion and chose to withdraw their claims," said David M. Levine, lead trial counsel and founding partner of Sanchez Fischer Levine, LLP, the Miami-based law firm representing Royal Caribbean in this matter. "Often times these matters linger far longer than they should, costing all parties substantial resources. We are happy that we were able to resolve this case relatively quickly for our client."

The matter was pending before Judge Ursula Ungaro in the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.14 + 9.95%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 64.43 + 6.87%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.35 - 24.18%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.74 + 8.77%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first steam turbine powered vessel and where did she make her debut?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the former liners that were sold to the Iranian government for use as accommodation ships in the 1970's?

Answer - After only 10 years of service the Michelangelo and Raffaello of the Italian Line were sold to the Iranian Government
courtesy of liberte50 at t-online.de


Cruise News - August 17, 2020

BOLT, First Rollercoaster At Sea Aboard Carnival’s New Mardi Gras Completes Shoreside Test Run
Today is National Rollercoaster Day and to celebrate Carnival Cruise Line has released a new video highlighting a shoreside test run of BOLT, the first rollercoaster at sea, debuting on the new Mardi Gras in February. The video can be viewed here.

Shot in Munich, Germany, at Mauer Rides, the manufacturer of the groundbreaking top-deck attraction, the engaging video showcases all that went into creating the incredible heart-racing attraction where guests ride across nearly 800 feet of suspended track achieving speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

The video illustrates how BOLT was designed and assembled in the Munich factory for the initial unmanned test runs and was reassembled and installed aboard Mardi Gras at the Meyer Turku Shipyard in Finland where the ship is being built. There’s also computer-generated footage that shows BOLT’s colorful custom-made cars encircling the track past Mardi Gras’ iconic funnel as well as the sprawling Ultimate Playground water park.

BOLT will be among the many features and amenities aboard Mardi Gras when it enters service from Port Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 6, 2021, operating year-round seven-day itineraries.

Holland America Line Opens Bookings for 2022 Grand World Voyage and 2021 Grand Africa Voyage
Holland America Line is opening bookings for two of its most epic explorations: the 2022 Grand World Voyage and the 2021 Grand Africa Voyage. Guests who want to circle the globe on the 128-day odyssey can now make their Grand World Voyage and Africa circumnavigation reservations. Both itineraries are conveniently roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and include overnight calls at some of the world's most iconic cities.

As an added incentive to make Grand Voyage reservations, Holland America Line is offering Early Booking Benefits on both itineraries to guests who book the full cruise. Bonus amenities include an onboard spending credit, prepaid gratuities, luggage delivery service and more. Plus, those who book also receive 3% savings off the cruise-only fare when paid in full by June 1, 2021, for the Grand World Voyage and Feb, 26, 2021, for the Grand Africa Voyage.

Holland America Line's 2022 Grand World Voyage aboard Zaandam travels around the globe on a 128-day journey that features an extensive collection of ports, longer stays and leisurely overnights ashore. Departing Fort Lauderdale Jan. 3, 2022, on a westward route, the Grand World Voyage charts a course from continent to continent, immersing guests in each destination so they come away with a deeper understanding of the places visited along the way. Highlights of the 2022 Grand World Voyage include:

• Fifty ports of call in 27 countries, territories and island nations across four continents.

• Overnight calls at nine ports, including Tokyo and Kobe (Osaka), Japan; Xingang (Beijing), Shanghai and Hong Kong, China; Singapore; Mumbai (Bombay), India; Aqaba, Jordan (overnight and next-day late departure); and Istanbul, Turkey.

• Late-night departures at 10 ports, including Hilo, Hawaii; Naha, Okinawa, Japan; Da Nang, Vietnam; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Aqaba; Ashdod (Jerusalem) and Haifa (Nazareth), Israel; and Mykonos, Greece.

• Scenic cruising in the Amazon River, Kanmon Strait and Dardanelles; transits of the Panama and Suez canals.

• Two equator crossings on one crossing of the International Date Line.

In fall 2021, Holland America Line's Grand Africa Voyage will circle the continent and features more than a dozen epic safari experiences and wildlife encounters. The 71-day cruise aboard Zaandam departs Fort Lauderdale Oct. 10, 2021, and takes a clockwise route around the continent. Highlights include:

• 18 African calls, with additional visits to San Juan, Puerto Rico; Funchal, Madeira; Crete, Greece; and Aqaba, Jordan.

• Overnight stays at Aqaba; Mahe, Seychelles; Zanzibar, Tanzania; and Cape Town, South Africa (overnight and next-day late departure).

• Late-night departures at Crete; Safaga, Egypt; Richards Bay and Cape Town, South Africa; Walvis Bay, Namibia; and San Juan.

• Wildlife opportunities at Jozani Forest Reserve, Lokobe National Park, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, Aqulia Game Reserve, Abuko Nature Reserve, Bandia Wildlife Reserve and more.

St Kitts and Nevis Will Allow Two Royal Caribbean Shipd to Safely Harbour
The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis outlined the process for safely harbouring two Royal Caribbean vessels this week. In a press conference today, the Minister of Tourism, Lindsay Grant, said that the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines reached out to the islands to harbour the Vision of the Seas and the Rhapsody of the Seas at Port Zante. Both cruise ships will arrive on August 19th with 70 crew members on each vessel.

According to the Minister, each crew member will be given an RT-PCR test upon arrival and quarantine for 14 days on their vessels. When all crew members receive a negative test at the end of their quarantine, they will be allowed to disembark while observing social distancing and mask-wearing safety measures. There are currently zero active cases of COVID-19 on the island.

"The health and the safety of our citizens, residents, and of our visitors remains our number one priority […] We have taken all the necessary health and safety protocols to ensure that St Kitts and Nevis remains safe." Minister Grant noted. "This assistance represents the true nature of our people to support others in a time of need," he added.

The Minister said that he did not doubt that citizens would be welcoming to the crew. He also said that this initiative would benefit many businesses because those on board would be using local amenities.

Port Zante, financed partly by the country's Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, allows the twin-island to host up to three of the largest ships in the world. The islands welcomed an astonishing 1 million cruise passengers for two consecutive years. The small but ambitious Caribbean country now holds the marquee status of larger cruise destinations in the region.

Costa Cruises To Resume Service In September For Italian Guests Only
With the aim of ensuring maximum safety for guests, crew and the destination communities, and in line with its decision to restart responsibly, Costa Cruises announces that the September cruises of Costa Deliziosa from Trieste and Costa Diadema from Genoa will be reserved exclusively for Italian guests, with one-week itineraries calling at Italian ports only, allowing to rediscover in safety Italy's finest destinations.

The decision was made considering the evolution of the epidemiological scenario and taking in account the regulation issued today by the Italian Ministry of Health regarding mandatory checks for travellers returning from some European and foreign destinations, which suggests a cautious approach. Therefore, this solution will allow Costa guests to better enjoy their holiday, with less worries.

The departure dates of the two ships are confirmed - Costa Deliziosa on September 6, 13, 20, 27 and Costa Diadema on September 19 - while further details on the itineraries will be announced as soon as possible. Costa is continuing to work in close cooperation with Flag State authorities, Italian Regions, local institutions, health authorities, harbour master's offices, ports and terminals and RINA to ensure a responsible, smooth and well organized application of the new regulations and protocols approved by the Italian Government for the restart of cruises.

The company also confirms the extension until 30 September 2020 of the pause for all the other cruises, except for the above-mentioned departures of Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema. Costa is informing the impacted Guests and travel agents. They will be guaranteed a reprotection in accordance with the applicable legislation.

Costa is working for a responsible and safe resumption of its cruises starting from 6 September, as already announced in recent days, tirelessly monitoring the epidemiological situation that is constantly evolving. The company hopes that from October the situation will allow to welcome on board its ships also guests of other nationalities.

In order to offer the best possible holiday experience, while protecting the safety of guests, crew, and the residents of the local communities, Costa Cruises has developed the Costa Safety Protocol for its fleet, including new operating procedures in response to the COVID-19 situation. Supported by a panel of independent scientific experts in Public Health coordinated by V.I.H.T.A.L.I. (Value in Health Technology and Academy for Leadership and Innovation), a spin-off of the Università Cattolica of Rome, the Costa Safety Protocol is consistent with the health protocols defined by the Italian Government and European (EU Healthy Gateways) authorities. The protocol will be constantly updated based on the evolution of the scenario and medical knowledge.

Seabourn Targeting Charters, Incentive, Meeting & Group Travelers
Seabourn is making it easier for prospective charter, incentive, meeting & group travel clients to understand why a Seabourn ship may be the perfect choice for their next gathering. The brand recently added a substantial amount of information to its website dedicated to this niche segment of the travel industry.

The pages begin with a robust outline of reasons why one of Seabourn's ultra-luxury ships can be a competitive choice vs. a traditional land-based hotel or resort. The brand's small ship environment offers the opportunity to "wow" almost any guest list with multiple destinations in one trip, coupled with a sophisticated onboard all-inclusive environment and service delivered by a crew that is educated and trained to deliver the finest in hospitality service.

"There are probably a fair number of brokers and travel advisors who don't even know they can consider an ultra-luxury ship for a corporate meeting, an incentive trip for top performers, or even for private clients who might want the ultimate in memorable vacations all the way up to chartering the ship for their private use," said Pierre Van Breda, deputy director for Global Charter, Incentive and Group Sales at Seabourn. "Now prospective clients can gather up a lot of useful information on our site to help them in their decision-making process before coming to us for a bespoke quotation crafted specifically to their needs."

Today's luxury traveler is placing greater value on privacy and smaller ship travel, and Seabourn delivers this where groups will find a sophisticated, spacious environment onboard with high space-to-guest ratios that create a comfortable travel experience free of long lines or crowds in public spaces. That same sense of space extends to guest accommodations, which are all-suite ocean front - most with private furnished verandas - and distinct living and sleeping areas, along with generous bathrooms and even walk-in closets. Off the ship, the destinations on many Seabourn itineraries also include smaller, less-crowded ports of call only accessible by smaller ships and yachts.

"Seabourn has a long history of delivering extraordinary guest experiences and now with our expanded charter offerings, specialized groups can organize unique and exceptional events with greater ease and options," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn.

The updated web content also outlines the amenities included in a Seabourn experience such as the availability of dedicated meeting space and the use of audio-visual equipment included in the client's quotation. Coupled with the inclusion of food and beverage across the ship, prospective clients will quickly see how the value increases while the amount of time to coordinate these items separately decreases when compared to other venues. Site visitors will also find links to specific ships, details about public and private spaces, and a photo gallery to make the information gathering process easier.

Content related to the brand's new expedition ships, which will also be available for charters, incentive, meeting and group travel will also be added in the coming weeks.

Royal Caribbean Group Secures A Commitment For A $700 Million Facility
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) today announced that it has secured a binding commitment from Morgan Stanley for a $700 million term loan facility. The Company may draw on the facility at any time prior to August 12, 2021. Once drawn, the loan will bear interest at L + 3.75% and will mature 364 days from funding. The facility will be guaranteed by RCI Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company that owns the equity interests in subsidiaries that own seven of the Company's vessels.

The Company has the ability to increase the capacity of the facility by an additional $300 million from time to time subject to the receipt of additional or increased commitments and the issuance of guarantees from additional subsidiaries of the Company. If drawn, the Company expects to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes.

Perella Weinberg Partners LP served as financial advisor and Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisor to the company in connection with the term loan facility.

Carnival Corporation & plc Announces Closing of 9.875% Second-Priority Senior Secured Notes due 2027
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced that Carnival Corporation (the "Corporation") has closed its private offering of $900 million aggregate principal amount of 9.875% Second-Priority Senior Secured Notes due 2027 (the "Secured Notes"). The Corporation expects to use the net proceeds from the offering of the Secured Notes for general corporate purposes.

The Secured Notes were offered only to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers in reliance on Rule 144A under the Securities Act, and outside the United States, only to non-U.S. investors pursuant to Regulation S. The Secured Notes will not be registered under the Securities Act or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state laws.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.68 - 4.92%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 60.29 + 5.20%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.46 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 15.39 + 1.72%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the former liners that were sold to the Iranian government for use as accommodation ships in the 1970's?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former White Star liner retained her original White Star name (ending in -ic) and funnel colors well after the two lines merged in 1934 until she was retired in late 1960?

Answer - The ship you speak of was the M/V Britannic, third White Star liner to bear that name and sister to the Georgic. Noted for their "low profile", these ships were sleek and popular.
courtesy of Shawn Ladd, Chicago, IL


Cruise News - August 10, 2020

Costa Cruises to Restart Vacations On September 6th
Following the approval yesterday by the Italian government of the resumption of cruises and the new health protocol, Costa Cruises is planning to restart its operations from Italian ports gradually on September 6, 2020.

The return to cruising will be progressive, involving an increasing number of ships. The first ship to set sail will be Costa Deliziosa, on September 6, 2020, offering weekly cruises from Trieste to discover the most beautiful destinations in Greece. She will be followed by Costa Diadema, on September 19, 2020, operating seven-day cruises in Western Mediterranean from Genoa to experience the best of Italy and Malta.

From the entry into force of the new decree by the Italian government, Costa Cruises is working with Flag State authorities and the destinations to ensure a responsible, smooth and well-organized application of the new regulations and protocols, in close cooperation with the local institutions, health authorities, harbour master's offices, ports and terminals, and RINA. Consequently, further details on the Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema itineraries will be announced in the coming days.

As the gradual implementation of these protocols is completed on board and ashore, the company must extend the pause of its cruise season until September 30, 2020, except for the above-mentioned departures of Costa Deliziosa (September 6, 13, 20, 27) and Costa Diadema (September 19). Costa is informing the impacted guests and travel agents. They will be guaranteed a reprotection in accordance with the applicable legislation.

In order to offer the best possible holiday experience, while protecting the safety of guests, crew and the residents of the local communities, Costa Cruises has developed the Costa Safety Protocol for its fleet, including new operating procedures in response to the COVID-19 situation. Supported by a panel of independent scientific experts in public health coordinated by V.I.H.T.A.L.I. (Value in Health Technology and Academy for Leadership and Innovation), a spin-off of the Università Cattolica of Rome, the Costa Safety Protocol is consistent with the health protocols defined by the Italian government and European (EU Healthy Gateways) authorities.

Royal Caribbean Annouonces $1.6 Billion Loss for Second Quarter
Royal Caribbean Group today reported financial results for the second quarter of 2020 and commented on the business in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Second Quarter 2020

Starting on March 13, 2020 and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Royal Caribbean said that it suspended its global cruise operation. This resulted in the cancellation of all of the Company's second quarter sailings.

Royal Caribbean said that it reported US GAAP Net Loss for the second quarter of 2020 of $(1.6) billion or $(7.83) per share compared to US GAAP Net Income of $472.8 million or $2.25 per share in the prior year. The 2020 results include a non-cash asset impairment loss of $156.5 million. Royal Caribbean said that it reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(1.3) billion or $(6.13) per share for the second quarter of 2020 compared to Adjusted Net Income of $532.7 million or $2.54 per share in the prior year. The Net Loss for the quarter is a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business.

Business Update

"The COVID-19 pandemic is posing an unprecedented challenge to our industry and society. Our teams are working tirelessly to return to service soonest and doing so by developing new health and safety protocols to protect the well-being of our guests, crew and destinations we visit," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO. "In the meantime, we are using this time to refine our operations to be as efficient as we can while providing the great experiences that so many people are eagerly awaiting."

Regarding the new health and safety protocols, Royal Caribbean said that it is being advised by a "Healthy Sail Panel" of experts in areas of science and public health with backgrounds in medical practice, research, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations.

Update on Liquidity Actions and Ongoing Uses of Cash

Given the current environment, Royal Caribbean said that it continues to prioritize and bolster its liquidity, working to ensure it is well positioned for recovery. Since the last earnings call, Royal Caribbean said that it has taken further actions to enhance its liquidity, preserve cash and secure additional financing. Among these latest efforts the Company highlighted the following:

• The issuance of $1.0 billion of priority guaranteed notes and $1.15 billion of convertible notes;

• The issuance of GBP 300 million of commercial paper in the UK providing over $370 million of additional liquidity;

• Completed a $0.9 billion 12-month debt amortization holiday from all export-credit backed facilities;

• Amended over $11 billion of commercial bank and export credit facilities to provide covenant waivers through the fourth quarter of 2021; and

• Further reduced operating expenses due to the fleet layup measures and actions to decrease sales, marketing and administrative expenses.

In addition, Royal Caribbean said that it has $11.3 billion of committed credit facilities that are available to fund ship deliveries originally planned through 2025.

"We continue to take substantial actions to bolster our financial position," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "We have accessed the capital market in an opportunistic manner and continue to aggressively manage our spend. We are prepared to navigate a volatile period while making decisions that position the Company well for the recovery."

Royal Caribbean said that it estimates its cash burn to be, on average, in the range of approximately $250 million to $290 million per month during a prolonged suspension of operations. This range includes all interest expenses, including the increases driven by the latest capital raises. It also includes ongoing ship operating expenses, administrative expenses, hedging costs, expected necessary capital expenditures (net of committed financings in the case of newbuilds) and excludes cash refunds of customer deposits, commissions, debt obligations and cash inflows from new and existing bookings. Royal Caribbean said that it is considering ways to further reduce its average monthly cash burn under a further prolonged out-of-service scenario and during re-start of operations.

Liquidity and Financing Arrangements

As of June 30, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it had liquidity of approximately $4.1 billion all in the form of cash and cash equivalents. Royal Caribbean said that it noted that as of June 30, 2020, the scheduled debt maturities for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, are $0.3 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively.

Capital Expenditures and Capacity Updates The expected capital expenditures for the remainder of 2020 and 2021 are $0.6 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively. These expenditures are mostly related to newbuild projects.

COVID-19 has impacted shipyard operations and will result in delivery delays for newbuilds. Currently, Royal Caribbean said that it expects that three of the five ships originally scheduled for delivery between July of 2020 and December of 2021 will be delivered within the remaining time frame. Two of these ships are Silver Moon and Silver Dawn, with capacity lower than 600 berths.

Update on Bookings

The extended suspension of cruising has significantly impacted bookings for the remainder of 2020 which are meaningfully lower than same time last year and at lower prices.

Although still early in the booking cycle, the booked position for 2021 is trending well and is within historical ranges. Royal Caribbean said that it has implemented various programs to best serve its booked guests providing the choice of future cruise credits ("FCCs") or the opportunity to "Lift & Shift" their booking to the same sailing the following year in lieu of providing cash refunds. For the booking period since our last business update, approximately 60% of the 2021 bookings are new and the rest are due to the redemption of FCCs and the "Lift & Shift" program. Pricing for 2021 bookings is relatively flat year-over-year when including the negative yield impact of bookings made with future cruise credits; it is slightly up year-over-year when excluding them.

As of June 30, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it had $1.8 billion in customer deposits of which approximately $300 million correspond to fourth quarter 2020 sailings. Approximately 48% of the guests booked on cancelled sailings have requested cash refunds.

2020 Outlook

The magnitude, duration and speed of COVID-19 remains uncertain. As a consequence, Royal Caribbean said that it cannot estimate the impact of COVID-19 on its business, financial condition or near or longer-term financial or operational results with reasonable certainty. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Royal Caribbean said that it expects to incur a net loss on both a US GAAP and adjusted basis for its third quarter and the 2020 fiscal year, the extent of which will depend on the timing and extent of the return to service.

Interest expense for the remainder of the year (July 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020) will be in the range of $505 million to $515 million.

As of June 30, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it had hedged approximately 64%, 40%, 23% and 5% of its total projected metric tons of fuel consumption for the remainder of 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. The current suspension of our cruise operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in reductions to our forecasted fuel consumption. As of June 30, 2020, we had outstanding fuel swaps of 172,050 and 15,200 metric tons maturing in 2020 and 2021, respectively, that no longer hedged our forecasted fuel consumption. For the same four-year period, the annual average cost per metric ton of the fuel swap portfolio is approximately $423, $435, $514 and $580, respectively.

Holland America Line Extends Its Pause of Cruise Operations Through Dec. 15th
With the continuation of travel and port restrictions due to global health concerns, Holland America Line is extending its pause of cruise operations and cancelling departures on all ships through Dec. 15, 2020.

The pause extension affects Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal, Pacific Coastal, South America, Antarctica, Hawaii, South Pacific, Australia and Asia itineraries.

Those with impacted cruises automatically will be cancelled, and no action is needed for guests opting for the Future Cruise Credit (FCC). All guests will receive an FCC per person as follows:

• Paid in Full: Those who had paid in full will receive 125% FCC of the base cruise fare paid to Holland America Line.

• Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full will receive an FCC of double the amount of the deposit paid for the cruise. The minimum FCC is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.

The FCC is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. All other funds paid to Holland America Line may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.

Guests who prefer a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences form to indicate this preference no later than Sept. 15, 2020.

The above options are not applicable to guests booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may?apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line. See the terms and conditions in the Cancellation Preferences form for all details.

Seabourn Announces Upcoming Voyage Cancellations For Three Ships
Seabourn, the ultra-luxury travel experience, announced today that it will cancel upcoming voyages for three cruise ships in its fleet as a part of its pause in global ship operations.

The announcement applies to Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Ovation, and Seabourn Sojourn with each ship having a different "effective through" date. Specific details are as follows:

• Seabourn Encore: with its operations pause effective through November 25, 2020.

• Seabourn Ovation: with its operations pause effective through December 20, 2020.

• Seabourn Sojourn: paused through World Cruise 2021, with its operations pause effective through May 24, 2021.

The brand had previously announced a pause in its global ship operations from March 14 to November 20, 2020, depending on the ship, effectively cancelling all voyages scheduled to operate during that timeframe. The decision to cancel additional voyages is a proactive action to deal with the circumstances continuing to evolve from the global response to the COVID-19 situation.

"We've been saying for some time that our resumption of service will come gradually, and this action reflects that discussion. The health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the people in destinations we visit remain a top priority," said Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn. "Like many who watch the travel industry, we are encouraged by the signs emerging around the world that point to travel's progress toward return. When our expert science and medical advisors and our destinations support the ability to resume travel on Seabourn, we'll be ready."

Seabourn will be communicating changes for voyages scheduled to depart in the extension timeframe with all booked guests and their travel advisors.

Guests currently confirmed on Seabourn Sojourn's 2021 World Cruise will be automatically re-accommodated in the same suite on Seabourn Sojourn's 2022 World Cruise, at rate paid, within 30 days.

Guests with impacted cruises (except World Cruise 2021) will automatically be cancelled and all guests will receive Bonus Future Cruise Credits. They can also request a full refund of monies paid to Seabourn. Specific details are as follows:

• Paid in Full: those guests paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

• Under Deposit: those guests with bookings under deposit will receive a Future Cruise Credit valued at 125% of the deposit amount paid. Guests can also request a full refund of the monies paid to Seabourn.

The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. The amount of non-cruise fare purchases may be transferred to a new booking. Alternatively, guests may request a refund of the monies paid to Seabourn, which will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

A Journey to Finland and Back Home Again
Petu Kummala, senior director of interior design and architecture for Carnival Cruise Line, dispels the old adage that you can’t go home again.

The Finnish native has the good fortune to return to his hometown of Turku every few months when he checks on the progress of Mardi Gras, the line’s newest and most innovative ship. “It really is quite amazing that after living in Miami for the past two decades, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to visit my hometown where our newest ship is being built and soak up the unique culture that I grew up with.”

His path from a child growing up in Turku to heading up the design team of the world’s most popular cruise line is a circuitous one. Kummala literally grew up watching ships come in and out the Turku shipyard on a daily basis – “the shipyard is not just a huge economic engine for the community but an enormous source of pride for local residents” – and even worked summers building and installing furniture for ferries built at the yard.

Always fascinated by drawing and design, Kummala studied at the Turku Naval Architecture School and after graduating he had a chance meeting with Carnival’s legendary interior designer Joe Farcus who offered him a job in 1999. “After gaining my composure, it took me about a minute to agree to work for Joe and I started designing Carnival Spirit as well as Costa Atlantica from his Miami Beach studio.”

Kummala spent the next 14 years working with Farcus and then started his own firm, 358 Design, in Miami. In 2015, Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Newbuilds Ben Clement asked Kummala to join the Carnival team to help finalize design details for Carnival Vista and begin work on a new 180,000-ton ship that would eventually become Mardi Gras.

“When I heard that Mardi Gras would be constructed in Turku, I couldn’t contain my excitement but I couldn’t tell anyone, especially my mother – she’s the worst at keeping a secret!” he said.

Kummala is part of a talented, hard-working team that has been involved with virtually every design aspect of Mardi Gras, from passenger flow and venue location to the unique atrium concept and the six distinctive zones lined with an array of distinctive dining, bar and entertainment choices.

Outside of visiting his parents and enjoying some Finnish cuisine that he can’t get in Miami, Kummala use his free time in Turku for one of his favorite hometown activities – heating up in the sauna and breaking through the ice to swim in the sub-freezing waters of a local river. “It is invigorating to say the least. I’ve convinced everyone on the Miami design team to give it a try – they loved it!” he exclaimed.

When he heads home to Miami, Kummala makes sure to stuff his suitcase full of traditional delicacies like herring, rye bread, and a special kind of salty licorice called “salmiakki” for his adult sons who grew up enjoying the treats.

So what’s next for this talented designer? Right now he’s finalizing plans for the soon-to-be-named second Excel-class ship that promises some new surprises from her sister ship Mardi Gras and of course thinking up new and innovative ways to build upon the uniqueness of the Carnival vacation experience.

“Working on Mardi Gras has been one of the highlights of my career and building it in my hometown has made it even more special. Seeing ideas that our team conceived years ago come to life before your eyes is truly astonishing and that’s when you realize all the hard work was worth it,” he said. ”I really can’t wait for guests to see how amazing Mardi Gras will be. We build these ships for them.”

Mardi Gras is scheduled to enter service from Port Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 6, and her sister ship is set to debut from PortMiami in November 2022.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.44 + 19.13%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 57.31 + 20.93%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.46 - 7.14%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 15.13 + 15.85%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former White Star liner retained her original White Star name (ending in -ic) and funnel colors well after the two lines merged in 1934 until she was retired in late 1960?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - In the 1950's when you live the pier 90, you were on a CUNARD's Ocean Liner.
courtesy of Thomas Mousse, Italy


Cruise News - August 3, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Joins Industrywide Pause in U.S. Through Oct. 31
Consistent with the decision announced today by the members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to voluntarily extend the pause in U.S. cruise embarkations until Oct. 31, 2020, Carnival Cruise Line has informed guests and travel advisors that we have cancelled all cruises scheduled to embark between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31.

Guests are being offered an enhanced value package of a future cruise credit and onboard credit, or a full refund.

If conditions in the U.S. change and short and modified sailings are possible, the industry may consider an earlier restart, and we would consider that as well. In the meantime, we will continue to work with public health and government officials to finalize enhanced health and sanitation protocols and procedures that will guide our eventual return to service.

We thank our guests for their continued patience and support as we work through these difficult decisions. When the time is right, our terrific onboard team will be waiting to welcome our guests back to give them the great vacation they deserve.

Carnival Corporation Delivers Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration To Scrappers
Carnival Corporation today announced agreements with maritime reclamation and recycling specialists EGE CELIK and SIMSEKLER to responsibly dismantle and recycle two retired ships scheduled to leave its fleet. The move comes as part of the company's strategy for a phased resumption of cruise vacations with specific ships and brands returning to service over time.

Carnival Corporation worked with the environmental non-profit Bellona Foundation – a lead partner in the NGO Shipbreaking Platform – and the specialized ship recycling experts Sea2Cradle to formulate an approach to dismantling and recycling the ships. The organizations also helped identify best-in-class certified maritime vessel retirement solutions worldwide that are able to reuse, reclaim and recycle retired ships in support of Carnival Corporation's commitment to a sustainable cruise industry.

"Our highest responsibility and top priorities are compliance, environmental protection, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the communities we visit and our crew," said Bill Burke, chief maritime officer for Carnival Corporation. "That commitment extends to our cruise ships, starting from the moment a ship becomes part of our fleet and continuing all the way through to its retirement. In addition to limiting our vessels' impact on the environment throughout their service time in our fleet, recycling our retired ships following the European Ship Recycling Regulation ensures we are applying the highest global standards and contributing to a sustainable cruise industry."

After an intensive review of sustainable ship recycling facilities, Carnival Corporation selected Turkey-based EGE CELIK and SIMSEKLER based on their track records of compliance with key national and international environmental agreements and regulations. Both recycling companies are certified by the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. They are also strictly required to adhere to a complex matrix of global standards set forth by the European Union (EU), International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Basel Convention multilateral environmental agreement.

The recycling companies will formulate a Ship Recycle Plan for each vessel – Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration – that goes beyond what is required by consulting with Carnival Corporation's advisor Sea2Cradle to ensure optimal compliance with key national and international environmental standards. Each plan will include a complete inventory of hazardous and regulated materials and the procedures planned for safely removing and processing the materials in an environmentally friendly way. Once these materials are safely removed and processed, the companies will begin dismantling each ship.

Ships will be stripped of machinery, electronic equipment, glass, wood and other materials that can be directly upcycled for reuse in new ships, used in ship repair or repurposed for other applications. Steel and metal scraps will be salvaged and recycled for direct use or be sent to the mill for producing other products and goods. Working on behalf of Carnival Corporation and as an added assurance, Sea2Cradle will supervise ship dismantling and recycling at the demolition yards throughout the entire process to ensure the highest health, safety and environmental standards are maintained.

"We are proud to collaborate with Carnival Corporation for the clean and safe recycling of their retired cruise vessels," said Wouter Rozenveld, director, Sea2Cradle. "We recently carried out the Inventory of Hazardous Materials that will form the basis of a unique ship recycling plan created for each vessel."

Added Rozenveld: "Our experienced supervisors will be present at the yard during the entire recycling process, to ensure the recycling plan is adhered to and that all health, safety and environmental measures are followed. We will also see to it that non-recyclable materials are being disposed of and treated properly, and we will remain on-site until the last piece of steel is brought to the smelter to produce new products."

Sea2Cradle estimates that a significant percentage of the ship materials from both vessels will be reused, reclaimed or recycled.

Holland America Line Changes Name of Newbuild to Iconic Rotterdam
In honor of some of the most memorable ships in Holland America Line's nearly 150-year history, the premium cruise line is changing the name of its newbuild from Ryndam to Rotterdam and designating it the new flagship of the fleet. The seventh ship to bear this historic name, Rotterdam will be delivered one year to the date on July 30, 2021, pushed back slightly from its original delivery of May 2021 due to the global health situation.

When Rotterdam is delivered from Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Italy, it will spend the summer exploring Northern Europe and the Baltic on roundtrip cruises from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Guests and travel advisors with clients who were booked on the ship's Premiere Voyage in May and itineraries through July 30 are being contacted with rebooking options.

"The first ship for Holland America Line was the original Rotterdam, the company was headquartered in the city of Rotterdam for many years, and the name has been a hallmark throughout our history since 1872 … so clearly the name is powerful and symbolic," said Gus Antorcha, Holland America Line's president. "With the current Rotterdam leaving the company, we knew we had a unique opportunity to embrace the name as our new flagship and carry on the tradition of having a Rotterdam in our fleet. Seven is a lucky number, and we know she's going to bring a lot of joy to our guests as she travels across the globe."

Holland America Line's first ship was Rotterdam, which sailed its maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York Oct. 15, 1872, and led to the founding of the company on April 18, 1873. Rotterdam II was built in 1878 for British Ship Owners Co. and purchased by Holland America Line in 1886. Rotterdam III came along in 1897 and was with the company until 1906. The fourth Rotterdam joined the fleet in 1908 and also served as a troop carrier when World War I ended. Following the war it made regular cruises from New York to the Mediterranean.

Rotterdam V, also known as "The Grande Dame," set sail in 1959 and began sailing transatlantic crossings with two classes of service. It later converted to a one-class ship in 1969. She sailed with Holland America Line for 38 years until 1997, including several Grand World Voyages, and currently is a hotel and museum in the city of Rotterdam. Rotterdam VI, the most recent to cruise for Holland America Line, was introduced in 1997 and the first ship in the R Class.

Cruising aboard Rotterdam VII begins Aug. 1 with the ship's seven-day Premiere Voyage departing from Trieste, Italy, to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, with port calls throughout the Adriatic Sea and southern Italy. The ship sails Aug. 8 from Civitavecchia on a 14-day cruise through the western Mediterranean and on to Amsterdam.

From Aug. 22 through Oct. 10, the ship will sail roundtrip from Amsterdam on three seven-day itineraries to Norway, one 14-day to the Baltic and one 14-day to Norway, Iceland and the British Isles. A trans-Atlantic completes the inaugural Europe season with a 14-day voyage from Amsterdam to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

To accommodate guests booked on cancelled itineraries of Ryndam from May through July, Nieuw Statendam cruise itineraries also will see some changes to match up as much as possible with former Ryndam sailings.

"Guests and travel advisors will be notified today of this news and coming changes to current itineraries," added Antorcha. "We ask everyone, though, to please bear with us just a few weeks for all of the details as we rebuild itineraries and put the finishing touches on several desirable alternatives. We will follow up with specific details very soon so everyone knows their options."

Guests booked on the originally scheduled Premiere Voyage will be rebooked on the Premier Sailing for Rotterdam, departing August 1, and will receive a $100 per person shipboard credit. All other guests who were booked on impacted Ryndam or Nieuw Statendam cruises will be automatically rebooked to a similar future cruise date during the summer at the same fare paid. Guests will receive a $100 per person shipboard credit for cruises 10 days or less and $250 per person for itineraries of 12 days or more. Guests are asked to wait until they receive updated booking confirmations in the next several weeks before contacting Holland America Line for additional changes to the booking.

The third in the Pinnacle Class series, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests, measure 99,500 tons and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi's Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Café. Delivering the best of everything, Rotterdam celebrates live music with an exclusive collection of world-class performances each night - from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King's Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard.

Throughout the ship, Rotterdam also will showcase Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world's leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam is the 17th ship constructed for Holland America Line by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which most recently built Nieuw Statendam. Naming details have not been finalized and will be announced later.

Aida Forced To Delay Resumption Of Service
AIDA Cruises released the following statement regarding their plans to resume service:The concepts and certifications for the restart of our cruise operation have been successfully developed and confirmed with the responsible authorities. Contrary to our expectations, the final formal approval for the start of the short trips from August 5, 2020 by our flag state Italy is still pending.

Unfortunately, we therefore have to cancel the planned short trips with AIDAperla and AIDAmar with departure dates between August 5 and 12, 2020.

After intensive preparations with the support of many national and international authorities and health experts, we have developed comprehensive concepts for the restart and implemented all increased hygiene standards and measures to protect against COVID-19 on board our ships.

We very much regret this delay. We would have loved to welcome our guests back on board from August 5, 2020.

We assume that we will receive the last formal approval by the flag state Italy in a timely manner.

All guests whose trip cannot take place as originally scheduled will be informed immediately.

AIDA very much wants guests to enjoy their AIDA holidays at a later date. To this end, we offer our guests the opportunity to rebook to a different cruise from our wide range of travel offers. AIDA appreciates guests for their confidence by offering them an on-board credit of 50% of the actual travel price.

We will automatically reimburse the travel price already paid and all services already booked on MyAIDA, according to the payment method made.

Royal Caribbean Group Sets Sail With Updated Corporate Identity
When a company is known for raising the bar on design and innovation, nothing is exempt from the mantra of continuous improvement—not even the company's own name.

That's why Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is now known by a new moniker: Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL).

"The name is simpler, fresher and more modern. It's also more descriptive—Royal Caribbean Group sounds like a parent company name, reflective of our growth and evolution since we last updated our identity more than 20 years ago," said Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO Richard Fain.

The company's flagship cruise line brands – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea, Azamara, TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises – are all now proud members of Royal Caribbean Group.

Royal Caribbean Group's logo has also been updated. The company's iconic crown and anchor emblem has been sharpened and made more symmetrical, and now resides inside a circle at all times.

The Royal Caribbean Group identity was designed by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.07 - 4.95%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 47.39 - 3.87%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.49 - 1.01%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 13.06 - 2.39%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What is the largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built?

Answer - The largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built was Cunard's QE2.
courtesy of Robert Teskie, Los Angeles, CA


Cruise News - Juy 27, 2020

Royal Caribbean Group Reinvents Safety Drill
Royal Caribbean Group is replacing one of the least-loved but most important parts of a cruise vacation – the safety drill – with Muster 2.0, an entirely new approach to delivering safety information to guests. The innovative program, the first of its kind, reimagines a process originally designed for large groups of people into a faster, more personal approach that encourages higher levels of safety.

With Muster 2.0, the key elements of the safety drill – including reviewing what to expect and where to go in case of an emergency, and instructions on how to properly use a life jacket – will be accessible to guests on an individual basis instead of a group approach that has been followed historically. New technology, eMuster, will be used to help provide the information to guests via their mobile devices and interactive stateroom TVs. Travelers will be able to review the information at their own time prior to setting sail, eliminating the need for the traditional large group assemblies. The new approach also enables everyone on board to maintain better spacing as guests move about the ship, and it allows guests to enjoy more of their vacation with no interruption.

After reviewing safety information individually, guests will complete the drill by visiting their assigned assembly station, where a crew member will verify that all steps have been completed and answer questions. Each of the steps will need to be completed prior to the ship's departure, as required by international maritime law.

"The health and safety of our guests and crew are our number one priority, and the development of this new muster process is an elegant solution to an outdated, unpopular process," said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "The fact that this will also save guests time and allow the ship to operate without pause means that we can increase health, safety and guest satisfaction simultaneously."

"Muster 2.0 represents a natural extension of our mission to improve our guests' vacation experiences by removing points of friction," said Jay Schneider, Royal Caribbean Group's senior vice president of digital. "In this instance, what's most convenient for our guests is also the safest option in light of needing to reimagine social spaces in the wake of COVID-19."

This marks the first dramatic change to the safety drill process in a decade, since Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas moved the life jackets from guest staterooms to the muster stations, which improved the evacuation process and has been widely followed throughout the industry. More than a year in the making, Muster 2.0 is also an initiative that will be part of the comprehensive set of protocols and procedures Royal Caribbean Group is developing along with the Healthy Sail Panel that was recently assembled in collaboration with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

"This new process represents the kind of innovation that the Healthy Sail Panel is focusing on as part of its mission to enhance the health and safety of cruising," said former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, co-chair of the Healthy Sail Panel. "It shows that we can accomplish a lot if we try to think outside the box on safety."

"I'd like to extend my congratulations to Royal Caribbean Group on this innovative milestone. It's exactly what our industry needs during these unprecedented times and we appreciate the generous offer to participate in this innovation," said Frank Del Rio, President and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. "In this industry, we all work cooperatively to enhance health and safety, and this is an example of that."

The distributed muster for ocean-going vessels concept is patented in the United States and is patent-pending in major markets around the world, including the various cruise industry flag states. The company has also worked with international regulators, the U.S. Coast Guard and other maritime and government authorities to ensure it meets all safety requirements.

In addition to introducing the new process on the ships of its own cruise lines – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara – Royal Caribbean Group is offering to license the patented technology to interested cruise operators and will waive patent license fees during the time the world and industry battle the global pandemic. Patent licenses have already been granted to the company's joint venture, TUI Cruises GmbH, as well as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Muster 2.0 was first tested on Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas in January 2020. Guests who took part in the mock process indicated a strong preference for the new approach and also reported better comprehension and retention of the safety information.

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Updates To Fleet Plan
Carnival Cruise Line today announced new plans for its fleet that will generate tremendous guest excitement once it resumes sailing, with a confirmed date for an additional Excel-class, LNG-powered ship arriving in November 2022, four ships either sold or put on long term lay-up status, and other ships redeployed to new homeports, as it seeks to leverage its strong network of year-round and seasonal homeports in the U.S. with upgraded offerings. The highlights of the plan include:

• As part of Carnival's 50th birthday in 2022, a November 2022 delivery date for the unnamed, second Excel-class ship has been confirmed from the Meyer Turku shipyard. The sister ship to Mardi Gras will showcase many of her features, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, and sail out of PortMiami as previously announced. Carnival said it will open the ship for sale this fall and guests can register to be the "first to know" about the ship's itineraries and special open for sale promotions at www.carnival.com/ship2022.

• As part of Carnival Corporation's recent announcement to reduce its overall capacity and focus on ships with upgraded features, Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration have been sold. Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination will move to a long term lay-up status, with no specific timeline identified for a return to operation.

• Carnival Sensation will move from Miami to Mobile and take up itineraries previously assigned to Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Fascination, with guests on those two ships being re-accommodated on Carnival Sensation.

• Carnival Sunrise will move from Port Everglades to PortMiami and assume the itineraries previously operated by Carnival Sensation, providing a larger, upgraded ship for short itineraries with the many new features installed during Carnival Sunrise's $200 million transformation completed in 2019. Guests booked on the Sunrise 4- and 5-day itineraries from Port Everglades will be automatically moved to sailings from PortMiami.

• Carnival Sunrise is part of Carnival's 50th birthday celebration and there will be no changes to her birthday sailing, which is scheduled for March 5, 2022. These special sailings have been in high demand and will feature special entertainment, at-sea ship rendezvous and onboard activities and offerings. For more information on this special group of itineraries in March 2022, please visit www.carnival.com/sailabration.

• Carnival Fascination itineraries from San Juan and Barbados have been cancelled for 2020-2021 as the cruise line focuses its return to operations on mainland drive markets in the U.S.

• Itineraries for Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration from Long Beach have been cancelled through Apr. 19, 2021. Carnival Panorama will continue to operate 7-day cruises from Long Beach while Carnival Miracle will operate shorter itineraries from San Diego to Baja Mexico.

• Carnival Radiance will now move directly from Europe after its $200 million transformation and homeport in Long Beach in April of 2021, where it will assume the short Baja Mexico itineraries previously served by Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration. Guests booked on Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration after April 22, 2021 will be re-accommodated on Carnival Radiance, where they will experience the host of upgrades and new features including Shaq's Big Chicken Restaurant and an expanded waterpark popular with families sailing with children.

• Separately, Carnival also notified its Australian guests that it has extended its pause of operations in that country, and has cancelled six cruises scheduled to operate between Sept. 25 and Oct. 29, 2020.

"We have used this pause in operations to think carefully about our fleet and to build a plan that gives our guests new choices and upgrades to current ship offerings," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We have a great variety of ships across the Carnival Cruise Line fleet and we are thrilled to have been able to confirm a delivery date ahead of what we had anticipated for our second Excel ship, which is exciting news for guests interested in sailing from PortMiami on the sister ship to Mardi Gras! At the same time, we will continue to invest in the four remaining Fantasy class ships that we are keeping in the fleet. We have many guests who prefer our Fantasy class ships which work so well for shorter itineraries from smaller ports that cannot accommodate our larger ships. With a fleet that gives guests lots of choices in ships, homeports, destinations and features including a multitude of dining, entertainment and accommodation choices, we are very excited about the future for Carnival Cruise Line."

Guests and travel agents are being notified directly about impacted sailings, guest re-accommodations and cancellations. Duffy thanked guests and travel agent partners alike for their continued patience, loyalty and support during this unprecedented time for the cruise industry. "With our future fleet plan resolved, we are focused on ensuring we are ready to return to operations once it is determined that the time is right to resume cruising in the U.S.," she said.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Select Global Ship Operations Until December 15
Due to the continued progression of COVID-19 and related decisions of various government, health authorities, and airlines regarding travel restrictions, Princess Cruises is extending its pause in cruise operations impacting the following voyages:

All cruises sailing in and out of Australia on Majestic Princess, Regal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sea Princess, and Sun Princess through October 31, 2020

All sailings in Asia, Caribbean, California Coast, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama Canal, South America & Antarctica, Japan, and Tahiti/South Pacific through December 15, 2020 "We share in our guests' disappointment in cancelling these cruises," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "We look forward to the days when we can return to travel and the happiness it brings to all who cruise."

Guests currently booked on these cancelled voyages who have paid Princess in full will have the option to receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare.

For guests who have not paid in full, Princess will Double the Deposit, providing a refundable FCC for the money currently on deposit plus a matching bonus FCC that can be used on any voyage through May 1, 2022. The matching bonus FCC is non-refundable, will not exceed the base cruise fare amount of the currently booked cruise, and will have a minimum value of $100 per person.

To receive the above FCCs, no action is required by the guest or their travel advisor. Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by August 31, 2020 or guests will be registered for the Future Cruise Credit option.

Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.

P&O Cruises today announced it was extending its rolling pause in operations across Australia and New Zealand to October 29, 2020 in response to the current impact of the global pandemic on the way we travel and holiday.

P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said while everyone hoped sailings would resume soon, it had become increasingly clear that more time was needed for society to reinstate many modes of travel and community gatherings.

"The path to society reopening fully is continuing to evolve – and cruising will return when science and public health align and people again feel comfortable to meet. With this in mind, we have reviewed the current end date of our pause in cruise operations," Mr Myrmell said.

"We will continue to use this time to liaise with authorities, public health experts and others in the industry to develop enhanced public health measures for when the time is right to resume sailing.

"This is by far the most challenging time the travel sector has ever experienced. However, like so many of our loyal guests and partners, we look forward to better times ahead when we can cruise again. We thank everyone for their unswerving loyalty, patience and goodwill."

The latest changes in operations are:

Australia

In Australia, P&O Cruises will extend its pause in operations to October 29, 2020 (inclusive) – an extra 42 days to what had previously been announced.

It will affect the following cruises:

Pacific Explorer: X040, X041, X042, X043, X044N, X045N, X045P and X046

Pacific Dawn: W047, W048, W049, W050, W051, W052 and W053

Pacific Aria: A048, A049, A050, and A051

New Zealand

In New Zealand, P&O Cruises will return for its next season of sailings departing from Auckland in 2021. Additional cruises affected by this new pause are:

Pacific Aria: A042, A043, A044, A045, A046, and A047

Other cruises

As a result of the extended pause in operations and international travel restrictions, P&O will cancel Pacific Adventure's inaugural 18-night cruise (V059) from Singapore to Sydney.

Compensation for cancelled cruises from July 23, 2020

P&O will make direct contact with guests whose cruises have been affected to let them know of this development and to apologise for the disruption. All guests are entitled to a full refund or bonus onboard credit if they choose a future cruise credit. P&O will pay refunds back to travel agents for guests who booked through that channel.

P&O will protect travel agent commissions on all bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the future cruise credits.

Guests with bookings affected by the pause in operations, can track the progress of their future cruise credit or refund request via a new tracking tool found on P&O's website.

P&O Cruises Extends Pause in Operations in Australia and New Zealand
Royal Caribbean Group Names New Public Health and Chief Medical Officer
Royal Caribbean Group has named Dr. Calvin Johnson as Global Head, Public Health and Chief Medical Officer. In this new role, Johnson will lead the Group's global health and wellness policy, manage its public health and clinical practice, and determine the strategic plans and operations of its global healthcare organization. Johnson will also collaborate with the Healthy Sail Panel to ensure the company establishes and implements its protocols and recommendations.

"Calvin's extensive experience in public health and clinical care will help us raise the bar on protecting the health of our guests, crew and the communities we serve," said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "Calvin will also work closely with the newly announced Healthy Sail Panel to ensure we establish and implement leading health protocols and procedures."

Dr. Johnson has a strong background in protecting public health through service delivery innovation, policy development and analysis, and leadership training and development. He has successfully led significant response efforts during active infectious disease outbreaks and was responsible for ensuring all aspects of patient care while overseeing a clinical operation with 1,300 caregivers and more than 300,000 individuals.

"Royal Caribbean Group is committed to going beyond requirements to truly innovative solutions," said Johnson. "I am excited to join the industry leader, who is clearly establishing the way forward in managing public health initiatives and protecting health and safety. The Healthy Sail Panel is doing critical work to help us develop enhanced standards, and achieve readiness for the return to service, and I am looking forward to being involved in that work."

"Calvin will add critical expertise in our mission to elevate the quality of care," said Jennifer Love, Royal Caribbean Group Senior Vice President, Safety, Security, Environment, Medical & Public Health. "His appointment is testament to our commitment to transforming healthcare for those we serve."

Dr. Johnson, most recently Principal at Altre Strategic Solutions Group, is the former Chief Medical Officer for Corizon Health, then the largest provider of correctional health care in the United States, and for Temple University Health System. He served as Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 2003-2008 and was Medical Director for the New York City Department of Health from 1998-1999. He earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a BS in Chemistry from Morehouse College.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.75 - 8.33%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 49.30 - 5.92%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.495 - 11.61%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 13.38 - 10.14%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What is the largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ocean liner had the first on-board movie theater/cinema?

Answer - The first theater/Cinema at sea was aboard the French Lines Normandie of 1935.
courtesy of David Bursin, Los Angeles


Cruise News - Juy 20, 2020

Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam to Leave the Holland America Line Fleet in 2020
Holland America Line announced that Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam will be leaving the fleet and transferring to undisclosed buyers. The ships have been sold in pairs, with the S-Class Maasdam and Veendam transferring to one company in August 2020, while the R-Class Amsterdam and Rotterdam will move to another company in fall 2020.

Holland America Line will cancel cruises for the four ships' deployments, with some select itineraries being assumed by other ships in the fleet. The 2021 Grand World Voyage aboard Amsterdam will be postponed until 2022 and will now sail aboard Zaandam. The Grand Africa Voyage departing Oct. 10, 2021, aboard Rotterdam will also sail aboard Zaandam on the same dates.

"It's always difficult to see any ship leave the fleet, especially those that have a long and storied history with our company," said Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. "However, Holland America Line has a bright future ahead that includes recent Pinnacle-Class additions, with a third sister ship next year that will continue to maintain our overall capacity in the marketplace."

"I recognize and appreciate the deep affection our guests have toward our company and the ships in our fleet," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "While streamlined, our diverse fleet continues to offer exceptional options for cruisers looking for a mid-sized ship experience to destinations all around the world. I look forward to carrying on those beloved shipboard offerings while cultivating new ideas to bring to our guests."

Maasdam joined the fleet in 1993 as the second of four S-Class ships. Carrying 1,258 guests, it is the fourth Holland America Line ship to bear the Maasdam name. Most recently, the 55,575-ton ship sailed longer South Pacific and Alaska voyages. Veendam, the final S-Class ship, was delivered in 1996. The fourth Holland America Line ship to bear the name Veendam, the 57,092-ton vessel carries 1,350 guests.

The first ship in the R Class, 61,849-ton Rotterdam was introduced in 1997. Carrying 1,404 guests, it is the sixth Holland America Line ship to be named Rotterdam. Amsterdam joined the fleet in 2000 as the final of four R-Class ships. Carrying 1,380 guests, it is the third Holland America Line ship to be named Amsterdam. Most recently, the 62,735-ton ship operated the line's Grand World Voyage.

Guests with bookings on future sailings of these ships will be notified that these cruises will be cancelled or changed. Along with their travel advisors, guests will receive information if the cruise will operate with a different ship or information and special offers on how to book another Holland America Line cruise when operations resume. Guests who prefer a refund will be accommodated.

Cancelled cruises will include scheduled Canada/New England and Grand Voyages on Amsterdam; Mexico, South Pacific, Australia and Asia itineraries on Maasdam; Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, South America and Hawaii sailings on Rotterdam; and Caribbean and Europe itineraries on Veendam.

CDC No Sail Order Pushes Bahamas Paradise Retart To October
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line today announced an extended delay to the resumption of its sailing operations.

“As you know, we recently announced that we would finally return to sea this August – offering travelers the chance to enjoy a much-needed, two-night getaway to paradise. However, given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) extension of its No Sail Order, we have no choice but to delay our resumption of cruise operations to October 1st, 2020," said Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line CEO Oneil Khosa.

"Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have remained one of the few cruise lines that reported no cases of the virus onboard our ships. We have also followed all required guidelines, including adhering to strict requirements for our onboard crew members, and installed the best safety protocols in the industry across our fleet to protect our guests and crew, who are always our top priority. In addition, we remain the only cruise line in the country to receive “green status” from the CDC on our No Sail Response plan, meaning we have met their requirements in providing a safe environment for our crew members to work and disembark via commercial travel. This was also recognized in the CDC’s own statement.

"While we are disappointed that we are not able to sail as planned, we will of course continue to work side by side with the CDC and have therefore suspended all future sailings until October 1st. We are also aware of the recent announcement from Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Munnis regarding the travel ban on travelers from the U.S., and we are prepared to make necessary changes to our sailing schedule, as needed. Until then, we will continue our preparations to return to Grand Bahama Island while keeping a close eye on the overall landscape. We look forward to welcoming guests back onboard and appreciate everyone’s patience throughout this process.”

Swan Hellenic to Return to Cruising Next Year
Seventy years on from Swan Hellenic’s beginnings, the British-born expedition cruise line is back. A new consortium has purchased the brand from G Adventures, which acquired the rights when the company went bust in 2017.

Two state-of-the-art expedition ships are being built in Helsinki Shipyard Oy, Finland aimed at providing 152 guests an elegant, intimate and personal onboard experience. Each will also house 120 staff.

The first ship will set sail for Antarctica in November next year, with the second gracing the water in April 2022.

Andrea Zito, Swan Hellenic chief executive, said: “I am proud to announce the rebirth of Swan Hellenic a pioneering iconic travel brand with the mission to be the leader in cultural expedition cruising. The new Swan Hellenic retains its British heritage whilst being international in outlook. Aimed at the traveller, who wishes to explore, experience and enrich whilst the infinite beauty of the world and its inhabitants in a safe and sustainable way”.

Swan Hellenic – which will be headquartered in Monaco – said it was looking to building relationships with the trade, with interested parties invited to register here.

Zito added: “Swan Hellenic was always a family brand and we want to continue along the same line by inviting all cruise industry partners to become part of the new Swan Hellenic community”.

The company will also have offered in the UK and Germany.

The senior management team has more than 100 years of cruise industry experience led in the UK by John Warner (GAdventures/Trailfinders) and Mario Bounas (Royal Caribbean/The Langham), Alfredo Spadon in Germany (Silversea/MSC) and Andrea Zito in the Monaco headquarters (Silversea/Vships).

Mardi Gras Construction Progressing at Finland’s Meyer Turku Shipyard
As revealed by photos released today, construction on Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras is progressing at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, as the ship is being readied for its scheduled February 2021 debut.

Workers have installed nearly 800 feet of suspended track for BOLT, the first rollercoaster at sea, that will encircle upper decks and offer guests an exhilarating ride with dips and drops with breathtaking ocean views 187 feet above the water line.

All of the ship’s more than 2,600 staterooms, including 180 suites across 11 different categories, have been installed as well, with interior outfitters putting the finishing touches on these unique accommodations.

Mardi Gras’ six themed zones are also taking shape. These unique areas will include dining, beverage and entertainment options, including restaurants from Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri and Shaquille O’Neal.

Encompassing 21 decks, Mardi Gras will offer a groundbreaking new layout highlighted by Grand Central, a massive atrium with three-deck-high windows overlooking the sea.

Mardi Gras is scheduled to enter service Feb. 6, 2021, from Port Canaveral’s new Terminal 3 which has been specifically constructed to accommodate Mardi Gras and its LNG propulsion system.

Viking Announces 2021-2022 World Cruise
Viking today announced its new 2021-2022 Viking World Cruise, which will span 136 days, 27 countries and 56 ports, with overnight stays in 11 iconic cities. Setting sail on December 24, 2021, from Fort Lauderdale, the itinerary will include three new ports of call for Viking, including Phillip Island and Eden, Australia, as well as Yangon, Myanmar.

Sailing on Viking's award-winning 930-guest Viking Star, the epic voyage will explore ports of call in Central America; transit through the Panama Canal; journey up the West Coast of North America before crossing the Pacific Ocean and calling upon Hawaii; traverse New Zealand and Australia; and sail through Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean before concluding in London. Guests may also choose a shorter, 119-day portion of the sailing, 2022 Viking World Horizons, which departs from Los Angeles on January 10, 2022 and visits 22 countries and 49 ports before ending in London. All Viking World Cruise guests will also receive the complimentary option to remain on board for three additional days and disembark in the ship's home port of Bergen, Norway.

"For more than 20 years, we have been committed to providing our guests with immersive and culturally enriching experiences while traveling the world in comfort," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "This has been an unusual year for all travelers, but we remain focused on the future and are pleased to offer our guests a new destination-focused World Cruise that allows for extensive exploration in 2021-2022."

2021-2022 Viking World Cruise Highlights

The newest Viking World Cruise itinerary visits iconic cities and ports of call in one seamless itinerary. Overnight stays in 11 iconic cities allow guests to explore further in Yangon, Myanmar; Auckland, New Zealand; Singapore, Singapore; Mumbai, India; Luxor, Egypt; Haifa, Israel; and Istanbul, Turkey. While on board, Viking offers cultural enrichment through onboard lectures and entertainment, such as Viking's Resident Historian program, which provides guests with a high-level historical and cultural education specific to their journey. Highlights of the new 2021-2022 Viking World Cruise itinerary include:

• Phillip Island, Australia (NEW Viking Port): Guests will enjoy some of Australia's most dramatic scenery and diverse wildlife including the island's famed Little Penguins. At sunset each evening on Summerland Beach, the Little Penguins return to shore and guests can watch them waddle in procession safely from elevated viewing points.

• Eden, Australia (NEW Viking Port): Set in Twofold Bay, the town of Eden was once home to Australia's whaling industry. Guests will explore today's Eden and the Sapphire Coast, which is now famed for its conservation efforts protecting the whale population.

• Yangon, Myanmar (NEW Viking Port): Guests will experience three days in Yangon, Myanmar, which was once the British colony known as Burma. In Myanmar's largest city, guests may visit the Shwedagon Paya, a golden monument and one of Buddhism's most sacred sites, explore the colonial architecture or take in the beautiful scenery. From magnificent temples, the floating villages of Inle Lake and the royal city of Mandalay, there are activities for everyone during this port of call.

• Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii: Guests can enjoy everything from historic landmarks to world-class shopping on the island of Oahu. Soak up the sun along Waikiki Beach's pristine beaches or visit Pearl Harbor to see where the tragic events of December 7, 1941 unfolded.

• Komodo Island, Indonesia: Guests will enjoy a day ashore visiting Komodo National Park and the Tamarind Woods, home to the famed Komodo dragon. Beyond wildlife viewing, guests will have an opportunity to explore and play at Pink Beach, so called for the rose-hued coral sand.

• London (Tilbury), England: Guests will end their sailing in the allowing easy access to the regal capital's iconic sights, including the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral.

Viking Star

Today's announcement follows the recent news that Viking was voted a #1 Ocean Cruise Line for the fifth consecutive year by Travel + Leisure readers. Viking Star is part of the award-winning fleet of sister ships, which also includes Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Sun, Viking Orion and Viking Jupiter, each with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. The company's seventh 930-guest ocean ship Viking Venus is scheduled to debut in early 2021. Viking's ocean fleet features modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:

• All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from 270 sq. ft. Veranda Staterooms, all with private verandas, sweeping views of the destination and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, generously proportioned closets, large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand, free Wi-Fi and award-winning bathrooms with large showers, premium Freyja bath products and heated floors.

• Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. With expansive views from wraparound private verandas, as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category on board, Explorer Suites offer the ultimate sanctuary for World Cruise guests.

• Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.

• LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air. Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 named it one of the "5 best cruise ship spas."

• Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow of the ship and designed to represent the Scandinavian spirit for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.

• The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.

• Dining Choices: Viking's ships offer eight dining options, all with no additional charge or fee—from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and a variety of culinary options, and the World Café, which features international fare and regional specialties including a sushi and seafood cold bar—to intimate alternative dining experiences at The Chef's Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, and Manfredi's, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. The Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers, while afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden. Mamsen's serves Norwegian deli-style fare, and complimentary 24-hour room service allows all guests to enjoy many signature dishes in the comfort of their stateroom. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking's ocean ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea. Additionally, The Kitchen Table specializes in regional dishes from market to table.

• Cultural Enrichment: Viking experiences from ship to shore are designed for unparalleled access and cultural enrichment. Viking Resident Historians deliver high-level historical and cultural education specific to the journey, offering invaluable insight into the rich history of the destination. Guest Lecturers who are experts in their fields shed light on the destination's art, architecture, music, geopolitics, natural world and more. Destination Performances represent the most iconic cultural performing arts of the region—whether it be Italian opera or Portuguese fado. Resident Classical Musicians—pianists, guitarists, violinists and flautists—perform classical compositions throughout the ships. And Culinary Classes in The Kitchen Table, Viking's onboard cooking school, focus on regional cuisine.

• Nordic Inspiration: Even the smallest details take their inspiration from the exploratory spirit of the original Vikings, reflecting deeply held Nordic traditions. Light wood grains, touches of slate and teak, Swedish limestone and fragrant juniper appear throughout the public spaces and Spa. The Clinker-built design of the Viking Bar mirrors the construction style of the original Viking Longships. A Viking Heritage Center provides history and context from the Viking Age. And characters from Norse Mythology are subtly incorporated into the design, providing curious guests with inspiration to further explore Viking's Nordic heritage. Sustainable Features: Designed to be environmentally friendly, Viking's ships feature energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency and equipment that reduces exhaust pollution and meets the strictest worldwide environmental regulations.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.00 - 1.83%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 52.40 + 5.77%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.56 - 3.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 14.89 - 4.55%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ocean liner had the first on-board movie theater/cinema?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What Holland America ship was nicknamed "Funneldam"?

Answer - the Potsdam of 1900 got the nick name Funneldam due to her tall funnel. The ship was sold in 1915 to the Swedish America Line and renamed Stockholm.
courtesy of liberte50@t-online.de


Cruise News - Juy 13, 2020

Windstar Cruises Will Retrofit Fleet with HEPA filters and UV-C Light Before Resuming Service In September
To address health concerns brought on by the pandemic, Windstar Cruises has committed to a holistic Beyond Ordinary Care program and will retrofit its fleet of six yachts with hospital-grade HEPA filters, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation and will employ a safe sanitization formula used in health care settings. A new partnership with the epidemiology department at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Center provides ongoing guidance.

"We are taking extensive measures and making multi-million-dollar investments to operate our yachts more safely in this new environment," said Windstar Cruises CEO Andrew Todd. "Building upon Windstar's 180 degrees from ordinary service, the Beyond Ordinary Care program implements a layered system of science-led best practices aimed at keeping everyone aboard healthy."

For additional guidance on combatting illnesses, Windstar connected with the epidemiology department at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Center, known for its work and expertise in infectious disease epidemiology. The collaboration aims to implement appropriate layers of protection to create a safe experience for guests on Windstar's yachts.

"Windstar's holistic approach has multiple layers of safety at hospital grade standards, and when combined with responsible hygiene practices from guests, it's the safest environment achievable with tech and science as we know it today," said Dr. Michelle Barron, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at University of Colorado Hospital and Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, at University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Center. "When you're sailing on a Windstar yacht, your biggest worry should be how to avoid a sunburn, not getting COVID-19."

Windstar is making significant investments and major operational adjustments to meet the requirements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and global governmental and public health guidance. Enhanced cleaning protocols on board include crew dedicated to frequent cleaning with special attention to high touch points and public areas. Going further, the Beyond Ordinary Care program employs proven technology and the highest-standard cleaning methods in combination with each other, as follows:

1. Install high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to filter the air on board Current CDC Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities recommend HEPA filtration for recirculated air from patient isolation rooms in hospitals. These filters are being installed in the HVAC systems on all Windstar yachts.

2. Add yet another layer to sanitize/disinfect the HEPA-filtered air with UV-C light for germicidal irradiation Once air has moved through the HEPA filtration system, there is an opportunity to "zap" the air with UV-C light (also called germicidal irradiation) before the air recirculates on the ship. When air passes the UV-C light, microbes such as bacteria and viruses not trapped in the HEPA filter will be destroyed. Germicidal irradiation is a solution that has been proven to kill coronaviruses.

3. Use EvaClean with PurTab for disinfecting surfaces via sprayers In addition to an elevated frequency of cleaning, sanitizing provides another layer of safety. This EPA-approved powerful sanitizer utilizes a safe and effective formula for disinfecting all types of hard and soft surfaces throughout the ship including guest rooms, crew spaces, and all public spaces. It has been used for everything from lower-level sanitization required for food-contact surfaces to powerful infection control used in health care settings. CEO Todd stressed that the cruise line, working with health experts and following the guidelines of the CDC, has carefully chosen cleaning and sanitation methods that have been shown to be effective against coronaviruses, as well as many other illness-causing microorganisms. These systems, in combination with an abundance of other prevention and mitigation steps, and diligence on behalf of guests, give Todd and Windstar Cruises confidence to sail the Windstar fleet in this challenging environment.

"Windstar operates small yachts that visit ports and waterways that large cruise ships simply can't access," said Todd. "There are major advantages to smaller ships besides less tonnage and passengers. Let's face it, cleaning and purifying a 342-passenger ship is logistically easier than a 5,000 passenger 'city at sea.'"

As part of the multi-layered approach, new pre-trip protocols for guests include a pre-departure questionnaire, and a request to wear masks when traveling to and from the ships. Each guest will receive a health screening prior to embarkation. Staggered arrival and departure times at check-in and disembarkation in ports will reinforce proper social distancing between guests.

Once on board, guests will find personalized service by dining staff in all venues, expanded dining times and seating arranged to provide more space between diners. The popular outdoor, top-deck BBQ will still be held with crew on hand to serve guests. Additional al fresco restaurants and complimentary room service (main restaurant dinner menu available via room service) increase dining options for all. Main dining venues will operate at 65 percent capacity, while specialty venues will operate at 60 percent. Crew, who will also be COVID-19 (PCR) tested before joining their assignment, will wear masks and instead of the usual embrace or handshake, look for the new "Windstar Wave" hand signal - a W made with one's index fingers and thumbs. Temperature measurements will be required twice daily for crew.

Safety standards established on board will carry over to shore-side experiences. Tenders, motor coaches and smaller boats will operate at 50 percent capacity and will be cleaned between each use. Windstar will also expand medical staff on board, as well as increase crew training in cleaning practices, social distancing, and emergency response protocols. As more becomes known about the COVID-19 virus, Windstar's policies will evolve. Information will be shared with crew and training ongoing.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line To Resume Operations August 28th
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line today announced an extended delay to the resumption of its sailing operations. The official statement, delivered by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line CEO Oneil Khosa, is as follows:

“Upon announcing that we would resume cruising in late July, we were thrilled to see a great deal of demand, demonstrating that there is a strong appetite amongst travelers for our unique short-cruise ‘microcation’ product. At this time, we remain the only cruise line in the country to have received a “green status” from the CDC on our No Sail Response plan, meaning we have met all requirements in providing a safe environment for our crew members to work and disembark via non-commercial travel.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve continued preparations to return to Grand Bahama Island while keeping an eye on the overall landscape, which continues to evolve. In recent days, amidst a spike in COVID-19 cases in many states across the country, we’ve seen mounting pressures to modify reopening plans and consideration of the return of stay-at-home orders. Additionally, new restrictions from the Bahamas have been announced, requiring travelers to present a negative swab test prior to entry. In an effort to provide the safest environment for our passengers and crew, we have no choice but to further postpone our sailing schedule.

Our current plan is to resume cruises on August 28th, 2020. This is incredibly disappointing to our entire team, but the decision was made after very careful consideration of all factors, and we believe this is in everyone’s best interest. We look forward to welcoming guests back onboard and appreciate everyone’s patience throughout this process.”

Carnival Corporation & plc Provides A Business Update
Carnival Corporation & plc this week provided a business update and additional financial information for the second quarter ended May 31, 2020.

Business Update

In the face of the global impact of COVID-19, Carnival said that it paused its guest cruise operations in mid-March. Carnival said that it expects to resume guest operations, with ongoing collaboration from both government and health authorities, in a phased manner. Specific brands and ships are expected to return to service over time to provide guests with unmatched joyful vacations in a manner consistent with the company's highest priorities, which are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of its guests, crew and the communities its ships visit.

AIDA to resume cruise operations

AIDA previously announced it will resume guest cruise operations from ports in Germany beginning August 2020 with three of its ships, making it the first of the company's nine cruise brands to resume guest cruise operations. AIDA will introduce additional safety and protective measures which will include pre-boarding health questionnaires and temperature checks for both guests and crew, physical distancing guidelines, routing systems on arrival, departure and onboard, increased mitigation and sanitation efforts in all cabins and public areas, as well as closely managing capacities at onboard experiences. These enhanced measures have been developed with advice from medical experts and align with the current guidance from the World Health Organization ("WHO") and the German Robert Koch Institute ("RKI"), as well as other governmental and health authorities.

Capacity reduced by ship delivery deferrals and 13 expected ship dispositions

Carnival said that it expects future capacity to be moderated by the phased re-entry of its ships, the removal of capacity from its fleet and delays in new ship deliveries. As previously announced, Carnival said that it intends to accelerate the removal of ships in fiscal 2020 which were previously expected to be sold over the ensuing years. Carnival said that it sold one ship during June 2020 and has agreements for the disposal of five ships and preliminary agreements for an additional three ships, all of which are expected to leave the fleet in the next 90 days. These agreements are in addition to the sale of four ships, which were announced prior to fiscal 2020. In total, the 13 ships expected to leave the fleet represent a nearly nine percent reduction in current capacity. Carnival said that it currently expects only five of the nine ships originally scheduled for delivery in fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021 will be delivered prior to the end of fiscal year 2021. In addition, Carnival said that it expects later deliveries of ships originally scheduled for fiscal 2022 and 2023.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, "We have been transitioning the fleet into a prolonged pause and right sizing our shoreside operations. We have already reduced operating costs by over $7 billion on an annualized basis and reduced capital expenditures also by more than $5 billion over the next 18 months. We have secured over $10 billion of additional liquidity to sustain another full year with additional flexibility remaining. We have aggressively shed assets while actively deferring new ship deliveries. We are working hard to resume operations while serving the best interests of public health with our way forward informed through consultation with medical experts and scientists from around the world."

Donald added, "We will emerge a leaner, more efficient company to optimize cash generation, pay down debt and position us to return to investment grade credit over time providing strong returns to our shareholders."

Maximizing Liquidity

Successfully raised over $10 billion through a series of financing transactions

Since the pause in guest operations, Carnival said that it has taken significant actions to preserve cash and secure additional financing to maximize its liquidity. While maintaining compliance, environmental protection and safety, Carnival said that it significantly reduced ship operating expenses by transitioning ships into paused status. Carnival said that it also reduced its administrative expenses, non-newbuild capital expenditures by $1.3 billion for 2020 and expects to reduce its newbuild capital expenditures by over $600 million for 2020, (net of export credit facilities). Additionally, since March, Carnival said that it has raised over $10 billion through a series of financing transactions, including transactions that have occurred in the last three weeks, as follows:

Borrowed an aggregate principal amount of $2.8 billion in two tranches under a first priority senior secured term loan facility on June 30, 2020 Negotiated Debt Holiday amendments, deferring certain principal repayments otherwise due through March 2021. (Certain export credit agencies have offered a 12-month debt amortization and financial covenant holiday ("Debt Holiday"))

In addition, Carnival said that it has $8.8 billion of committed export credit facilities that are available to fund ship deliveries originally planned through 2023.

Carnival Corporation & plc Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer David Bernstein noted, "Quickly recognizing the financial situation, we took swift action to improve our liquidity by reducing expenses and leveraging our strong balance sheet to complete several capital transactions".

During the pause in guest operations, the monthly average cash burn rate for the second half of 2020 is estimated to be approximately $650 million. This rate includes approximately $250 million of ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses, working capital changes (excluding changes in customer deposits and reserves for credit card processors), interest expense and committed capital expenditures (net of committed export credit facilities) and also excludes scheduled debt maturities. Carnival said that it continues to explore opportunities to further reduce its monthly cash burn rate.

The pause in guest operations is continuing to have material negative impacts on all aspects of the company's business. The longer the full or partial pause in guest operations continues, the greater the impact on the company's liquidity and financial position. Carnival said that it continues to expect a net loss on both a U.S. GAAP and adjusted basis for the second half of 2020.

Update on Bookings

Demand continues for 2021 sailings

The company's brands have announced various incentives and flexibility for certain booking payments on select sailings to support guest confidence in making new bookings. These incentives vary by brand and sailing and include onboard credits and reduced or refundable deposits. In addition, Carnival said that it is providing flexibility to guests with bookings on sailings cancelled due to the pause by offering guests the flexibility of enhanced future cruise credits ("FCC") or an election for a refund in cash. Enhanced FCCs increase the value of the guest's original booking or provide incremental onboard credits. As of June 21, 2020, approximately half of guests affected have requested cash refunds. Despite substantially reduced marketing and selling spend, Carnival said that it continues to see demand from new bookings for 2021. For the most recent booking period, the first three weeks in June 2020, almost 60 percent of 2021 bookings were new bookings. The remaining 2021 booking volumes resulted from guests applying their FCCs to specific future cruises.

As of June 21, 2020, cumulative advanced bookings for the full year of 2021 capacity currently available for sale remain within historical ranges at prices that are down in the low to mid-single digits range, on a comparable basis, including the negative yield impact of FCCs and onboard credits applied.

As of May 31, 2020, the current portion of customer deposits was $2.6 billion, the majority of which are FCCs. $121 million of the company's customer deposit balance relates to third quarter sailings and $353 million relates to fourth quarter sailings. Carnival said that it continues to expect any decline in the customer deposits balance in the second half of 2020, all of which is expected to occur in the third quarter, to be significantly less than the decline in the second quarter of 2020.

Protecting the Health and Safety of Guests and Team Members

Throughout the pause in its guest cruise operations, Carnival said that it has acted to protect the health and safety of guests and shipboard team members. Carnival said that it returned over 260,000 guests to their homes, coordinating with a large number of countries around the globe. In addition, Carnival said that it worked around the clock with various local governmental authorities, utilized its ships and chartered hundreds of planes to repatriate shipboard team members as quickly as possible. Carnival said that it is extremely pleased with its ability to successfully repatriate approximately 77,000 of its shipboard team members to more than 130 countries around the globe, which is substantially all of its onboard workforce other than the safe manning team members who will remain on the ships, and thanks the numerous governments who worked closely with the company during the repatriation process.

Donald commented, "I could not be more proud of how collectively our team has handled this. We looked after our guests, each other and the over 700 places we go each year. Thanks to our crew for continuing to exceed guest expectations through challenging circumstances and our shoreside operations for working 24/7 to enhance our liquidity and to repatriate our guests and our crew. Also, thanks to our loyal guests, travel partners, shareholders and other stakeholders for their support during this challenging time."

Active consultation with science and medical experts

Throughout the pause in guest cruise operations, the company has been consulting and assembling the best minds in medical science, public health and infectious disease. These individuals include a robust line-up of world renowned medical, epidemiology and public health experts to provide the company with the latest science and medical evidence to inform practical, adaptable and science-based solutions for detection, prevention and mitigation of COVID-19.

In coordination with the World Travel and Tourism Council, Carnival said that it is hosting an online Global Scientific Summit on COVID-19 on July 28, a forum which is open to the public and free of charge. Speakers and panelists include the company's expert advisors, representing a diverse range of science, research and business backgrounds, including amongst others, members of Scientists to Stop COVID-19, who have volunteered to participate. Carnival said that it is grateful to bring together a select group of science and medical experts who will bring such relevant insight into COVID-19.

Viking To Launch New Ship For The Mekong River
Viking today announced it will launch a new ship next summer for its popular Magnificent Mekong cruisetour. Currently under construction, the 80-guest Viking SaigonSM is scheduled to debut for the August 30, 2021, cruisetour departure; the river cruise portion of the itinerary sails between Kampong Cham, Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam.

"For many of our guests, Vietnam and Cambodia remain top destinations because of their significance in world history," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We have led the river cruise industry with our fleet development and experiences that bring travelers closer to the cultures of the world for more than two decades. This will be the most modern vessel on the Mekong and will feel like 'home' to our loyal Viking guests who are familiar with the comfortable design of our ships."

Purpose-built for the Mekong River, the new Viking Saigon will host 80 guests in 40 outside staterooms. Featuring the clean Scandinavian design for which Viking is known, all staterooms will have hotel-style beds and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors with a Veranda or French Balcony. Guests on the three-deck Viking Saigon will also enjoy a Spa & Fitness Center, Infinity Pool and open-air Sky Bar on the Upper Deck.

During this 15-day journey, guests explore the cultural treasures of Vietnam and Cambodia with 16 guided tours. Hotel stays in Hanoi, Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) bracket an eight-day Mekong River cruise on this unique cruisetour itinerary, during which guests can enjoy shopping in Old Hanoi's markets; exploring the Khmer temple complex of Angkor Wat; visiting Ta Prohm, where jungle vines embrace ancient ruins; and seeing the sights of Phnom Penh by cyclo rickshaw. On the river cruise portion of the itinerary, guests can discover silk towns, fishing villages, monasteries and floating markets. Multiple departure dates beginning in August 2021. Pricing starts at $5,299 per person, with discounted airfare from $1,199 per person.

Holland America Line Gets New President
Holland America Line announced today the appointment of Gustavo (Gus) Antorcha as president of the award-winning, premium cruise line, known for immersive, authentic shipboard and shoreside experiences. Antorcha joins the company effective immediately from sister brand Carnival Cruise Line, where he has served as chief operating officer.

“We are fortunate to welcome Gus to the Holland America Line team for a new chapter at our brand,” said Stein Kruse, Group CEO, Holland America Group and Carnival UK. “His impressive qualifications, boundless energy and passion for the cruise industry will serve us well as we prepare to resume our global operations in the next several months. These are unprecedented times, and his wisdom and competent judgement will ensure Holland America Line’s long-term success.

“I’ve worked with him often during his time at Carnival Cruise Line and know that he brings extensive experience in many disciplines within the cruise and travel business,” added Kruse. “Gus always demonstrates strategic vision, fiscal awareness and superior leadership with a keen ability to keep his eye on the end result to ensure success.”

Antorcha will lead Holland America Line’s sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, guest services operations and strategic planning. He will report to Kruse.

“When you think of longevity and success among global cruise lines today, Holland America Line is arguably among the top, with a proud history of nearly 150 years,” said Antorcha. “On each ship, the guest experience attracts cruisers back again and again with the best live music at sea, a culinary program that rivals the best land-based restaurants, and engaging talks and activities that seek to deepen each guest’s appreciation of the places they visit.

“I am eager to begin working toward our future with the dedicated and talented people that have been important in establishing the brand’s reputation as the go-to cruise line for cultural immersion,” noted Antorcha. “Likewise, I look forward to collaborating with our travel advisor community to continue supporting them and helping them build their Holland America Line business.”

Most recently, Antorcha was chief operating officer at Carnival Cruise Line where he has worked a combined nine years. He also held positions as executive vice president, guest services, responsible for onboard operations; and senior vice president, guest commerce.

Antorcha first came to Carnival in 2010 from Boston Consulting Group, a global strategy and management consulting firm, where he was a partner and managing director focused on clients in the travel and leisure industries. He graduated magna cum laude with distinction from Duke University and holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.28 - 2.11%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 49.54 - 0.96%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.58 + 5.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 15.60 - 3.29%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What Holland America ship was nicknamed "Funneldam"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Just before the Imperator entered service in 1913, something was added to her design to ensure that she would be the longest liner in the world. What was added?

Answer - A large bronze eagle was added to make her longer than the Aquitania, the wings were later torn off the eagle during a storm while crossing the Atlantic
courtesy of Joseph Cant, Montreal, Canada


Cruise News - Juy 6, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Sets Ship Delivery Changes
Carnival Cruise Line will be notifying guests and travel agents on Tuesday of revisions to the delivery of its newest ship, Mardi Gras, as well as the transformed Carnival Radiance – both resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic – and new itineraries for Carnival Breeze and Carnival Magic that are all part of an updated deployment plan from November 2020 to May 2021.

The key points of the changes:

• Mardi Gras, the first LNG-powered ship to operate in the Western Hemisphere and featuring the first roller coaster at sea, will now enter into service from Port Canaveral, Fla. on Feb. 6, 2021. Itineraries out of Port Canaveral for departures from Nov. 14, 2020 to Jan. 30, 2021 have been cancelled.

• Carnival Radiance's $200 million dry dock at the Cadiz, Spain shipyard was suspended this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a nationwide lockdown. Carnival is now evaluating shipyard options to complete the transformation, but the ship is likely not going to be completed until the spring.

• As a result of the delayed arrival of Carnival Radiance, Carnival Breeze will be redeployed from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral and will assume the itineraries for Carnival Radiance from Nov. 8, 2020 to Apr. 24, 2021. Consequently, guests on 18 Carnival Breeze sailings from Fort Lauderdale scheduled to operate from Nov. 7, 2020 to Mar. 7, 2021 are being notified that their cruises have been cancelled.

• Carnival Magic's transatlantic and European itineraries from Mar. 13, 2021 to May 3, 2021 have been cancelled. Seven sailings previously scheduled for Carnival Breeze from Fort. Lauderdale from Mar. 13 to Apr. 24, 2021 will move to Miami and those guests will sail on the same itinerary, but on Carnival Magic operating from PortMiami.

"We continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global commerce, public health and our cruise operations. In addition to our current pause in service, there have been many other unintended consequences, including shipyard, dry dock and ship delivery delays, and related changes to our deployment plans for our fleet," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "While we had hoped to make up construction time on Mardi Gras over the summer, it's clear we will need extra time to complete this magnificent ship. We share our guests' disappointment and appreciate their patience as we work through this unprecedented time in our business and the lives of so many people. We remain committed to working with government, public health and industry officials to support the response to the pandemic and to return to operations when the time is right."

Guest and travel agent notifications will be emailed over the course of the day on Tuesday, July 7. Carnival expressed its appreciation for their guests' and travel agent partners' patience as it completes the notification process.

Leading Public Health Experts to Oversee Development of Enhanced Cruise Line Health and Safety Standards
Cruise companies Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announced a collaboration to develop enhanced cruise health and safety standards in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The companies have asked Governor Mike Leavitt and Dr. Scott Gottlieb to serve as co-chairs of a newly formed group of experts called the "Healthy Sail Panel." The panel is tasked with collaboratively developing recommendations for cruise lines to advance their public health response to COVID-19, improve safety, and achieve readiness for the safe resumption of operations.

The expert panel has been working for nearly a month and will offer its initial recommendations by the end of August. The cruise lines said its work will be "open source," and could be freely adopted by any company or industry that would benefit from the group's scientific and medical insights.

"This unprecedented disease requires us to develop unprecedented standards in health and safety," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. "Bringing aboard these respected experts to guide us forward demonstrates our commitment to protecting our guests, our crews and the communities we visit."

"We compete for the vacationing consumer's business every day, but we never compete on health and safety standards," said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. "While the cruise industry has always had rigorous health standards, the unique challenges posed by COVID-19 provide an opportunity to raise the bar even higher."

"Health and safety are the highest priority for all CLIA cruise line members as demonstrated by this initiative on the part of two of our largest members. We commend this and parallel efforts of all of our members, large and small, who are working tirelessly to develop appropriate protocols based on input from health authorities and medical experts in the U.S. and abroad," said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Fain and Del Rio said they initiated the panel to assure the plans they will submit to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other regulators apply the best available public health, science and engineering insights. The work of the panel will be shared with the entire industry and regulators.

"In convening the Healthy Sail Panel, we sought the participation of a diverse group of leading experts in areas of science and public health that are directly relevant to the considerations listed by the No Sail Order," said Governor Leavitt. "We view our work as a profoundly important public health effort. The health and safety of passengers, crew, and the communities that cruise ships visit will be the principal focus of this project."

Dr. Gottlieb said, "We know that the public health issues that must be addressed are complex, and in some areas, tackling them will require novel approaches. Our goal in assembling this team of leading experts was to develop best practices that can improve safety and provide a roadmap for reducing the risks of COVID-19."

The panel is co-chaired by Governor Leavitt, former Secretary of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services (HHS), and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The panel's members are globally recognized experts from various disciplines, including public health, infectious disease, biosecurity, hospitality and maritime operations.

Viking Announces Additional Sailings For New Mississippi River Cruises
Viking today announced that new 2023 sailings of its Mississippi River cruises are now on sale. The company's first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul. Viking's first river cruises in the U.S. had been highly anticipated when they were officially announced in April 2020, and several sailings have already sold out. This strong demand has led Viking to open additional 2023 sailing dates sooner than originally expected. Also, the company today released several new renderings of Viking Mississippi.

"We are very pleased at the initial response and support we have received from guests and community partners along the Mississippi River," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Like me, many travelers are planning ahead for when we will once again be exploring the world in comfort – to exotic destinations as well as those closer to home. We look forward to welcoming guests as we bring modern river cruising to the Mississippi River in 2022."

Viking's arrival to the Mississippi will represent a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities along the river, with the new cruises expected to bring more than 5,800 guests to the region in 2022 and 17,600+ during the first full sailing season in 2023. Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking's new Mississippi River cruises comprise seven U.S. states: Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans and St. Francisville); Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg); Tennessee (Memphis); Missouri (Hannibal, St. Louis); Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Davenport); Wisconsin (La Crosse); and Minnesota (Red Wing, St. Paul).

2022-2023 Viking Mississippi Voyages

• America's Great River (15 days; New Orleans to St. Paul)—Experience nearly the entire length of the Mississippi River on this incredible journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the northernmost reaches of the U.S. Relax and enjoy the variety of scenery, foliage and wildlife on this leisurely voyage. Enjoy Southern charm and beautifully preserved homes in Natchez; retrace the steps of Civil Rights leaders in Memphis; ascend the Gateway Arch in St. Louis; and visit "The Norwegian Valley" in La Crosse. Multiple sailing dates now available in June, September and October 2023. Pricing starts at $10,999 per person, with discounted airfare from $199 per person.

• America's Heartland (8 days; St. Louis to St. Paul)—From pristine farms nestled in rolling terrain to steep bluff rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This journey introduces you to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that control the flow of the heartland rivers. Hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere and the Amish and Norwegian migrations; experience the regional music like polka and Norwegian folk; and taste regional cuisine showcasing local beer, produce and Wisconsin cheese. Multiple sailing dates in August and September 2022; additional sailing dates now available in July, August and September 2023. Pricing starts at $4,599 per person, with discounted airfare from $199 per person.

• Heart of the Delta (8 days; New Orleans to Memphis)—This journey on the Lower Mississippi is infused with American history, culture and heritage. Tour the area where the migrating French and Acadians settled; immerse yourself in the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement; discover the music of the South—jazz, blues and gospel; and experience the life and food culture of the south, from Cajun and Creole to the famed "dry" Memphis BBQ. Multiple sailing dates in October and November 2022; additional sailing dates now available in May and June 2023. Inaugural pricing starts at $4,199 per person, with discounted airfare from $199 per person.

• Southern Celebration (8 days; New Orleans–Vicksburg–New Orleans)—On this exploration of the Lower Mississippi, visit the historic homes of Louisiana and Mississippi; learn about Civil War history, touring sites like Vicksburg National Military Park; and discover the excitement and unique flavors of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Multiple sailing dates in November and December 2022; additional sailing dates now available in January 2023. Inaugural pricing starts at $3,699 per person, with discounted airfare from $199 per person. Viking Mississippi

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking's award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship's cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the most modern cruise ship in the region. Highlights of the new ship include:

• All Outside Staterooms: Guests can choose from an unparalleled seven spacious stateroom categories that range from 268 sq. ft to 1,024 sq. ft: Veranda, French Balcony, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Jr. Suite, Terrace Suite and Explorer Suite. All staterooms feature a private veranda or French balcony, king-size bed with luxury linens, large flat-screen interactive TV, mini-bar, large glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and 24-hour room service.

• Viking Suites: Viking Mississippi will have some of the largest true suites on the river, with every suite featuring two rooms and a full-size veranda off the spacious sitting room. Guests in Penthouse Jr. Suites (400 sq. ft.) and Terrace Suites (425 sq. ft.) receive early stateroom access; expanded double-sink bathroom; mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water and snacks replenished daily; welcome champagne; and laundry, pressing and shoe shine services. Guests in the expansive Explorer Suites (657 sq. ft. to 1,024 sq. ft) also receive a wraparound veranda and complimentary Silver Spirits Beverage Package.

• Explorers' Lounge & The Bow: Familiar to Viking's ocean guests as one of the most popular onboard public spaces, Viking Mississippi will also feature an Explorers' Lounge near the bow of the ship. The sun-filled, two-story Explorers' Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to The Bow, a unique outdoor seating area at the front of the ship where guests can relax and enjoy ever-changing riverside views.

• River Café: From American classics to Mamsen's Norwegian specialties, this indoor/outdoor dining venue on the top deck will offer alternative restaurant dining in a casual al fresco setting.

• Aquavit Terrace: A public space beloved by many of Viking's ocean and river guests, Viking Mississippi will also feature a revolutionary Aquavit Terrace on the top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for an

• American barbecue experience. Combined with the River Café, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the most al fresco dining options on the Mississippi.

• Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool: Similar to Viking's ocean ships, Viking Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool experience at the aft, allowing guests to take a dip while fully surrounded by their destination.

• The Living Room: Clean Scandinavian design paired with American influences, the Living Room on Deck 1 is designed for socializing, relaxing and entertainment. Nearby, the quiet corner of The Library, is a perfect place to discover a new book. T

• he Restaurant: This main dining venue on Deck 1 will serve daily-changing menus featuring delicious regional cuisine and always available classics prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

• Full 360-Degree Promenade Deck: Guests can stroll the entire ship outside on Deck 1, stretching their legs while viewing scenic landscape and regional wildlife.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking creating "the thinking person's cruise." A focus on cultural enrichment on board Viking Mississippi means that guests will enjoy Destination Performances that represent the most iconic music of the region—as well as Guest Lecturers that shed light on the region's art, architecture, history, culture, natural world and more. And only The Viking Way of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Privileged Access, Local Life and Working World experiences, opening doors to places otherwise difficult to visit. On Viking's Mississippi River itineraries, guests may choose to take a guided kayaking trip in the Louisiana bayou; visit a working farm in Quad Cities; or immerse themselves in Cajun culture during a Privileged Access excursion to the Rural Life Museum of Louisiana State University.

• Sustainable Features: Solar panels, LED lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize natural light and an energy-efficient hybrid propulsion system will make Viking Mississippi the most environmentally friendly passenger ship on the Mississippi River.

• Viking Inclusive Value: Every Mississippi River cruise fare includes everything guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. Cruise fares include one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi.

Costa Extends Pause For Its Cruises Until August 15th

Costa announced this week a further pause for all its cruises until August 15th, 2020 and the cancellation of all cruises in Northern Europe for the remainder of the 2020 summer season. The decision is linked to the uncertainty on the gradual reopening of ports to cruise ships and the restrictions that may still be in place for the movements of people due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. In addition, the Company is also communicating the cancellation of all future cruises of Costa Victoria.

Costa is taking steps to inform both travel agents and guests affected by these changes. They will be guaranteed a re-protection in accordance with the applicable legislation, which offers the highest guarantee in this contingency situation.

In the meantime, Costa is working alongside all relevant Authorities to define health protocols for a potential restart of cruises as soon as possible.

AIDA Cruises extends pause of its operation until end of August 2020
Given the gradual easing in intra-European travel, AIDA Cruises believes it will resume its cruise operation later this summer. However, the conditions for safe travel do not yet exist in many destinations worldwide.

Since it is of great importance to AIDA Cruises to ensure all guests have confidence in planning their vacations, the company today announced it has extended its pause of operations until August 31, 2020. This does not apply to individual departures from AIDAprima, AIDAperla and AIDAdiva.

AIDA Cruises is in close and constant contact with all of the relevant authorities discussing the brand's interest in restarting cruise vacations, when the time is right, under adapted conditions and in full compliance with all sanitization and hygiene standards and protocols for physical distancing.

All guests whose trip cannot take place as originally scheduled will be informed immediately. Bookings are processed chronologically according to the departure date. The company publishes all updated information on the current pause of operation at www.aida.de/reisehinweis.

AIDA very much wants guests to enjoy their long-awaited AIDA holidays at a later date. To this end, AIDA will reimburse all guests whose cruises will not take place in August 2020 for the payments previously made to AIDA in the form of a travel credit. AIDA appreciates guests for their confidence by offering them a bonus of 10% on top of the payment already made.

In order to support travel agencies in these challenging times, AIDA will pay out a liquidity advance. This is 10% of the credit value and will be transferred to the sales partner as soon as AIDA has issued the travel credit for the joint customer.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.61 - 6.97%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 50.02 - 0.56%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.55 + 7.84%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.13 - 2.60%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Just before the Imperator entered service in 1913, something was added to her design to ensure that she would be the longest liner in the world. What was added?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What unique public room architectural feature was planned and implemented on Celebrity Cruises,Mercury only to be subsequently removed prior to the ship's maiden voyage - and why?

Answer - Mercury was to have had bridge joining the two upper levels of the restaurant. After Royal Caribbean purchased Celebrity the bridge (which was already in place) was removed.
courtesy of Larry Robertson, Ft. Lauderdale, FL


Cruise News - June 29, 2020

CLIA Announces Voluntary Suspension of Cruise Operations from U.S. Ports
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) issued the following statement today to announce that the association’s ocean-going cruise line members will voluntarily extend the suspension of cruise operations from U.S. ports until 15 September 2020.

“Due to the ongoing situation within the U.S. related to COVID-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations. The current No Sail Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will expire on 24 July, and although we had hoped that cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date, it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States.

“Although we are confident that future cruises will be healthy and safe, and will fully reflect the latest protective measures, we also feel that it is appropriate to err on the side of caution to help ensure the best interests of our passengers and crewmembers. We have therefore decided to further extend our suspension of operations from U.S. ports until 15 September. The additional time will also allow us to consult with the CDC on measures that will be appropriate for the eventual resumption of cruise operations.

v“This voluntary suspension applies to all CLIA members to which the No Sail Order applied (vessels with capacity to carry 250 persons or more). CLIA member cruise lines will continually evaluate the evolving situation and make a determination as to whether a further extension is necessary.”

In 2018, the cruise industry supported over 421,000 jobs in the United States, with every 30 cruisers from U.S. ports supporting one American job. Each day of the suspension of cruise operations in the U.S. results in a total loss of approximately $110 million in economic activity and up to 800 American jobs.

Coin Laying Ceremony Takes Place For MSC World Europa
A maritime coin ceremony tradition took place earlier today at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France when the keel was laid for MSC Cruises’ first liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered ship, MSC World Europa.

The 200,000-plus GT ship is scheduled to enter service in 2022 and be one of most technologically- and environmentally-advanced LNG-powered cruise vessels in its class, and the first ever to be built in France.

Zoe Africa Vago — daughter of Alexa Aponte-Vago and her husband Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman — and Aurore Bezard, from the HR Department of Chantiers de I’Atlantique, performed the traditional maritime ritual as godmothers. They represented both the ship owner and the shipbuilder when they placed two coins under the ship’s keel as the historical sign of blessing and good fortune for the project and the ship’s operational life at sea.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “MSC World Europa is further proof of our commitment to environmental stewardship as she is set to reduce carbon emissions even further than many other existing cruise ships powered by LNG, which is currently the most environmentally-friendly fuel for commercial maritime operations. With this vessel, we also reconfirm our belief in investing in advanced environmental technology to meet our long-term goal of zero emissions from operations.”

Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, added: “We are proud to start the building of a ship which will set the standards for the cruise of the future. This is a major milestone in the history of our 20-year cooperation with MSC Cruises, which has already resulted in some of the most innovative cruise ships ever built.”

MSC World Europa will feature a new 50-kilowatt demonstrator system that incorporates solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and uses LNG to produce electricity and heat on board. This is the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used on a cruise ship.

This SOFC solution fueled by LNG will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by about 30 percent compared with a conventional LNG engine, with no emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles. It also offers the advantage of being compatible with LNG, as well as several low carbon fuels such as types of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.

MSC World Europa will also feature a new generation wastewater treatment system that exceeds some of the world’s most stringent regulatory standards, as well other cutting-edge environmental technology.

MSC Cruises’ next flagship MSC Virtuosa is currently construction in Saint-Nazaire and preparing for delivery next year. The Company also has firm orders with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for two additional LNG-powered ships, one each for the MSC World and Meraviglia classes of ships.

Royal Caribbean Announces Odyssey of the Seas Delay

Royal Caribbean International announced this week that delivery of Odyssey of the Seas is officially delayed, and that the cruise ship will no longer be delivered as anticipated this fall.

"The impact of worldwide port and shipyard closures have created delays in the construction schedule and delivery of Odyssey of the Seas," Royal Caribbean said, in a statement. "Based on adjusted plans and timelines created in partnership with Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, delivery of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship is now scheduled for April 2021. Odyssey of the Seas will spend her inaugural season sailing Eastern Mediterranean cruises from Rome, before arriving to the U.S. in November 2021. Originally, the ship was to debut in November 2020.

"We are working directly with our guests and travel partners to address this disruption to their vacations. We are genuinely sorry for their inconvenience and disappointment."

Seabourn Announces New President
Seabourn announced today that Josh Leibowitz has been named president, effective immediately.

Reporting to Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK, Leibowitz's responsibilities will include oversight of all aspects of the brand's operations, including revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, hotel operations, and sales and marketing.

"We are excited to welcome Josh into this new role on our senior leadership team, where he will bring extensive experience and knowledge that will further strengthen Seabourn's position in the market," said Kruse. "I am confident that Josh will help carry Seabourn through the challenges currently facing the travel industry to build on its longstanding reputation as an ultra-luxury travel brand unlike any other, supported by a team of people whose everyday focus is on delivering the best."

"I'm excited to join the community of loyal Seabourn guests, our passionate crew, and the travel advisors that come together to deliver extraordinary Seabourn experiences," Leibowitz said. "Our main priority will be working together as we develop plans to resume operations and welcome our past and future guests onboard to create lasting travel memories."

Leibowitz joined Carnival Corporation & plc in 2013 as chief strategy officer and was also named senior vice president, Cunard North America in December 2016.

Prior to joining Carnival Corporation & plc, he served as managing partner of the Miami office of the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., and as a leader in the firm's work in advanced analytics and sales and marketing.

Carnival Legend to the Rescue

Earlier this week, Carnival Legend came to the assistance of a sailboat that had signalled it was in distress. According to Carnival "Our pause in sailing guests doesn’t mean we pause our obligations as seafarers to help others in distress."

On Tuesday, while Carnival Legend was off the coast of The Bahamas, its crew responded to a call for help from a small boat that had run out of fuel.

Carnival Legend rendezvoused with the small craft and delivered 25 gallons of diesel fuel so that the boat could make its way back to Jacksonville.

Many thanks to Carnival Legend Captain Alessandro Galotto and his team for their efforts in lending a hand to their fellow mariners.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.78 - 2.61%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 50.30 - 3.01%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.51 - 5.56%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 16.56 - 3.10%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What unique public room architectural feature was planned and implemented on Celebrity Cruises,Mercury only to be subsequently removed prior to the ship's maiden voyage - and why?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ship received a repreive from the ship breakers to star in the 1976 re-make of the movie "Voyage of the Damned"

Answer - It was the Irpinia of Siosa Lines that got that reprieve.
courtesy of Larry Robertson, Ft. Lauderdale, FL


Cruise News - June 22, 2020

Seabourn Offers Exciting New Itineraries For Fall 2021 Through Winter/Spring 2022
Seabourn has announced the worldwide itineraries for the fall 2021 and winter/spring 2022 seasons. The programs include 56 unique sailings to hidden harbors, yachting playgrounds, marquee ports and must-experience destinations, with some accessible only by smaller ships.

The fall 2021 and winter/spring 2022 seasons will offer significant opportunities for luxury travelers to discover the line's Extraordinary Worlds with nearly 100 departures of seven to 36 days in length. The line's ultra-luxury ships will visit a myriad of interesting and fascinating destinations in Australia & New Zealand, Southeast Asia, India, Africa, Arabia, the Panama Canal, Central America, the Caribbean, and Canada & New England. The itineraries, fares and complete details of the fall 2021 through winter/spring 2022 schedule can be viewed at www.seabourn.com.

Among the many highlights is Seabourn's return to Egypt in nearly a decade aboard Seabourn Ovation during the spring of 2022, and a series of new Panama Canal and Central America voyages on Seabourn Quest in late 2021. The ships will also visit a number of new and notable destinations, including Safaga (Luxor) and Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt; Marigot, Saint Martin; Saint Pierre, Martinique; Cozumel and Manzanillo, Mexico; Golfito and Quepos, Costa Rica; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; and Cabrits, Dominica, and more.

"We always strive to take our guests to some of the world's most remarkable and noteworthy destinations and give them the opportunity to discover the diverse culture and history firsthand," said Chris Austin, Seabourn's senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales. "We look forward to welcoming guests on one these upcoming voyages, where they can explore our extraordinary worlds while sailing on the world's finest ultra-luxury resort at sea."

Seabourn's fall 2021 and winter/spring 2022 itinerary highlights include:

• Seabourn Ovation will begin its fall 2021 season with a pair of 18-day cruises from Athens to Dubai, and from Dubai to Singapore, visiting destinations in Israel, Oman, United Arab Emirates, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The ship will then focus on Indonesia with a 10-day cruise from Singapore to Benoa (Denpasar), followed by a 16-day voyage to Sydney. The ship will then sail on four 16-day cruises between Sydney to Auckland, exploring the wonders "down under" and the "Land of the Long White Cloud." Seabourn Ovation will then retrace its route with a 16-day voyage from Sydney to Benoa; a 10-day sailing from Benoa to Singapore; and an 18-day cruise from Singapore to Dubai. The ship's spring 2022 season caps off with an 18-day voyage from Dubai to Athens, which includes the line's return to Egypt with an overnight stop at Safaga (Luxor) and a stop at Sharm el-Sheikh.

• Seabourn Encore will kick off its fall 2021 season with an 18-day voyage through the Holy Land and Arabia from Athens to Dubai, followed by a 17-day voyage through Arabia and India with the ship arriving in Singapore in early December. From there, the ship will sail on a series of 14-day Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam voyages between Hong Kong and Singapore, featuring the line's popular Caviar in the Surf and beach barbecue event. The ship will also visit China and the Philippines on a 14-day voyage departing January 2, 2022. In March, the ship will set sail for Europe with a pair of 17-day voyages, the first from Singapore to Dubai, followed by Dubai to Athens. These voyages will visit many exotic and interesting destinations in Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Israel, Greece, as well as a crossing of the Suez Canal.

• Following Seabourn Odyssey's 2021 summer season in Alaska, the ship will sail a seven-day voyage down the Pacific Coast from Vancouver to Los Angeles, and then head east with a 21-day Panama Canal voyage from Los Angeles to Miami, including stops at warm and sunny destinations in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Key West, Fla., as well as a full transit of the Panama Canal. The ship will then sail south on an 8-day cruise to Bridgetown, where Seabourn Odyssey will sail the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea on its popular and combinable seven-day voyages either round trip from Bridgetown, Barbados or between Bridgetown and Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. There will be 18 seven-day Caribbean cruises for the ship altogether, ideal for both new-to-Seabourn guests and Seabourn Club members. For guests wishing a longer Seabourn experience, they may book back-to-back voyages without any ports repeated. For guests seeking a warm and stress-free vacation to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year, Seabourn Odyssey will sail on two 10- and 11-day voyages roundtrip from Barbados. In addition, the ship's Caribbean season includes a seven-day cruise from Bridgetown to Aruba in March, followed by a 12-day cruise north to Miami, featuring stops at Curaçao, Bonaire, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Seabourn Odyssey will then sail westbound on a 21-day voyage to Los Angeles, stopping at destinations in Key West, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, as well as a full transit of the Panama Canal. The ship will then sail on an eight-day Pacific coastal cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver, where it will spend the summer in Alaska and British Columbia beginning mid-May 2022.

• Seabourn Sojourn will sail the Caribbean through fall of 2021, with 11-day voyages roundtrip from Miami beginning mid-November. Destinations include Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, the British Virgin Islands, Saint Barthélemy, as well as the line's popular Caviar in the Surf and beach barbecue. The ship will then sail westbound to Los Angeles on a 21-day Holiday Panama Canal cruise departing December 21, 2021.

• Seabourn Quest will return to Canada and New England in the fall of 2021 with a series of four 11-day and 12-day cruises between Montreal and Boston, followed by a 12-day voyage down the east coast from Montreal to Miami. In November and December, the ship will sail on a series of new 14-day Panama Canal and Central America voyages between Miami and Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama, visiting a number of tropical destinations in Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, as well as a full transit of the Panama Canal. The new program also includes a 14-day voyage over Christmas and New Year's, ideal for travelers seeking a getaway during the holidays.

Carnival Corporation & plc Reports Summary Second Quarter Results
Carnival Corporation & plc disclosed summary preliminary financial information for the quarter ended May 31, 2020.

SECOND QUARTER 2020 SUMMARY PRELIMINARY INFORMATION

• U.S. GAAP net loss of $(4.4) billion, or $(6.07) diluted EPS, for the second quarter of 2020, which includes $2.0 billion of non-cash impairment charges.

• Second quarter 2020 adjusted net loss of $(2.4) billion, or $(3.30) adjusted EPS.

• Total revenues for the second quarter of 2020 were $0.7 billion, lower than $4.8 billion in the prior year.

• The company's guest cruise operations have been in a pause for a majority of the second quarter. In addition, Carnival said that it is unable to definitively predict when it will return to normal operations. As a result, Carnival said that it is currently unable to provide an earnings forecast. The pause in guest operations is continuing to have material negative impacts on all aspects of Carnival's business. The longer the pause in guest operations continues the greater the impact on the company's liquidity and financial position. Carnival said that it expects a net loss on both a U.S. GAAP and adjusted basis for the second half of 2020.

• Cash burn rate in the second quarter 2020 was generally in line with the previously disclosed expectation.

• Second quarter 2020 ended with $7.6 billion of available liquidity, and Carnival said that it expects to further enhance future liquidity, including through refinancing scheduled debt maturities. In addition, Carnival said that it has $8.8 billion of committed export credit facilities that are available to fund ship deliveries originally planned through 2023.

• Total customer deposits balance at May 31, 2020 was $2.9 billion, including $475 million related to cruises during the second half of 2020.

PREPARATION FOR THE RESUMPTION OF GUEST OPERATIONS

Carnival said that it expects to resume guest operations, after collaboration with both government and health authorities, in a phased manner, with specific ships and brands returning to service over time to provide its guests with enjoyable vacation experiences. Carnival said that it anticipates that initial sailings will be from a select number of easily accessible homeports. Carnival said that it expects future capacity to be moderated by the phased re-entry of its ships, the removal of capacity from its fleet and delays in new ship deliveries.

In connection with its capacity optimization strategy, Carnival said that it intends to accelerate the removal of ships in fiscal 2020 which were previously expected to be sold over the ensuing years. Carnival said that it already has preliminary agreements for the disposal of 6 ships which are expected to leave the fleet in the next 90 days and is currently working toward additional agreements.

Health and Safety Protocols

In preparation for the resumption of its cruises, and consistent with its commitment to provide its guests with a safe and healthy environment, Carnival said that it is proactively consulting and working in close cooperation with various medical policy experts and public health authorities to develop enhanced procedures and protocols for health and safety onboard its ships. Carnival said that it appreciates the excellent working relationship with the health authorities of federal states and local port authorities in Germany, as well as the Italian Coast Guard, Italian Ministry of Transportation, Italian Ministry of Health and others around the world. A comprehensive restart protocol may include areas such as medical care, screening, testing, mitigation and sanitization addressing arrival and departure at cruise terminals, the boarding and disembarkation process, onboard experiences and shore excursions.

Update on Bookings

Carnival's brands have announced various incentives and flexibility for certain booking payments on select sailings to support guest confidence in making new bookings. These incentives vary by brand and sailing and include onboard credits and reduced or refundable deposits. In addition, Carnival said that it is providing flexibility to guests with bookings on sailings cancelled due to the pause by allowing guests to receive enhanced future cruise credits ("FCC") or elect to receive refunds in cash. Enhanced FCCs increase the value of the guest's original booking or provide incremental onboard credits. As of May 31, 2020, approximately half of guests affected have requested cash refunds. Despite substantially reduced marketing and selling spend, Carnival said that it is seeing growing demand from new bookings for 2021. For the six weeks ending May 31, 2020, approximately two-thirds of 2021 bookings were new bookings. The remaining 2021 booking volumes resulted from guests applying their FCCs to specific future cruises.

As of May 31, 2020, the current portion of customer deposits was $2.6 billion with $121 million relating to third quarter sailings and $353 million relating to fourth quarter sailings. Carnival said that it expects any decline in the customer deposits balance in the second half of 2020, all of which is expected to occur in the third quarter, to be significantly less than the decline in the second quarter of 2020.

As of May 31, 2020, cumulative advanced bookings for the full year of 2021 capacity currently available for sale are within historical ranges at prices that are down in the low to mid-single digits range including the negative yield impact of FCCs and onboard credits applied, on a comparable basis. For the full year of 2021, booking volumes for the six weeks ending May 31, 2020, were running meaningfully behind the prior year. However, Carnival said that it saw an improvement in booking volumes for the six weeks ending May 31, 2020 compared to the prior six weeks.

COVID-19 RESPONSE

In the face of the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Carnival said that it paused its guest cruise operations in mid-March. In response to this unprecedented situation, Carnival said that it acted to ensure the health and safety of guests and shipboard team members, optimize the pause in guest operations and maximize its liquidity position.

Ensuring the Health and Safety of Guests and Team Members

During this period Carnival said that it has taken and will continue to take the following actions:

• Returned over 260,000 guests to their homes, coordinating with a large number of countries around the globe. Carnival said that it chartered aircraft, utilized commercial flights and even used its ships to sail home guests who could not fly

• Working around the clock with various local governmental authorities to repatriate shipboard team members as quickly as possible. 49 cruise ships have traveled more than 400,000 nautical miles and Carnival has chartered hundreds of planes to repatriate approximately 60,000 of its shipboard team members to more than 130 countries around the globe. Carnival said that it expects substantially all of the approximately 21,000 remaining shipboard team members to be able to return home by the end of June. The safe manning team members will remain on Carnival's ships

• For those shipboard team members experiencing extended stays onboard, Carnival said that it is focusing on their physical and mental health. Carnival said that it is providing most shipboard team members with single occupancy cabin accommodations, many with a window or balcony. Shipboard team members have access to fresh air and other areas of the ship, movies and internet, and available counseling

Optimizing the Pause in Guest Operations

Carnival said that it estimates that its ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses will be approximately $250 million per month once all ships are in paused status. Carnival said that it continues to seek ways to further reduce this monthly requirement.

Reduced Operating Expenses

Carnival said that it has taken significant actions to reduce operating expenses during the pause in guest operations:

• While maintaining safety, environmental protection and compliance, Carnival said that it significantly reduced ship operating expenses, including crew payroll, food, fuel, insurance and port charges by transitioning ships into paused status, either at anchor or in port and staffed at a safe manning level

• Currently 62 of Carnival's ships are in their final expected pause location. Carnival said that it expects substantially all of its ships to reach their full pause status during the third quarter

• Significantly reduced marketing and selling expenses

• Implemented a combination of layoffs, furloughs, reduced work weeks and salary and benefit reductions across Carnival said that it , including senior management

• Instituted a hiring freeze across the organization, significantly reduced consultant and contractor roles

Reduced Capital Expenditures Carnival said that it has reduced capital expenditures and estimates $300 million of non-newbuild capital expenditures during the second half of 2020, which largely consists of previously committed expenditures.

Carnival said that it previously had four ships scheduled to be delivered between May and October of 2020. Carnival said that it believes COVID-19 has impacted shipyard operations and will result in delivery delays of the ships this year and is working with the shipyards on revised timing. Carnival said that it has committed future financing, comprised of ship export credit facilities, associated with these newbuilds.

Maximizing Liquidity

Carnival said that it has taken and continues to take actions to improve its liquidity including:

• Completed offerings of $6.6 billion through the issuance of first-priority senior secured notes, senior convertible notes and Carnival Corporation common stock

• Fully drew down its $3.0 billion multi-currency revolving credit facility

• Qualified for a government commercial paper program providing over $700 million of liquidity

• Early settled outstanding derivatives, receiving proceeds of $220 million

• Extended a $166 million euro-denominated bank loan, originally maturing in 2020, to March 2021

• Certain export credit agencies have offered 12-month debt amortization and a financial covenant holiday ("Debt Holiday"). The Debt Holiday amendments that have been finalized to date will defer $300 million of principal repayments otherwise due through May 2021 with repayments made over the following four years. Carnival said that it has also obtained financial covenant waivers for these loans for an initial term through March 2021 and waivers of the interest coverage financial covenant for certain of its bank loans through November 2021. Carnival said that it is working to arrange additional financial covenant waivers and additional debt holiday agreements deferring principal repayments of approximately $300 million through March 2021

• Suspended the payment of dividends on, and the repurchase of, Carnival Corporation common stock and Carnival plc ordinary shares

• Carnival said that it is also working on potential sales of non-ship assets

As of May 31, 2020, Carnival said that it has a total of $7.6 billion of available liquidity. In addition, Carnival said that it has $8.8 billion of committed export credit facilities that are available to fund ship deliveries originally planned through 2023.

Cash Burn Rate

During the pause in guest operations, the monthly average cash burn rate for the second half of 2020 is estimated to be approximately $650 million. This rate includes ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses, committed capital expenditures (net of committed export credit facilities), interest expense and excludes changes in customer deposits and scheduled debt maturities. In addition to the refinancings discussed above and the in-process Debt Holiday arrangements, Carnival said that it also expects to refinance approximately $2.4 billion of debt maturities coming due over the next twelve months, half of which matures in the second half of 2020.

Carnival Cruise Line Extends Operational Pause Through September 30
Carnival Cruise Line today advised guests and travel agents that it has extended its operational pause in North America through Sept. 30, 2020.

“During this unprecedented pause in our business, we have continued to assess the operating environment and confer with public health, government and industry officials,” Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy told booked guests and travel agents in a letter sent today. But she added that following the cruise industry’s announcement on Friday that it would voluntarily extend its pause in North America, Carnival Cruise Line is now cancelling all cruises through September 30.

“We have watched with great interest as commerce, travel and personal activities have begun to start back up, and once we do resume service, we will take all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we bring our ships to in order to maintain public confidence in our business. Nevertheless, we apologize for disrupting your vacation plans and appreciate your patience as we work through these decisions,” Duffy said in the letter.

Carnival initially announced a voluntary 30-day pause in operations on March 13, and has now extended that pause three times, reflecting the public health challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is currently completing the repatriation of nearly 29,000 crew members to more than 100 nations who serve its fleet of 27 ships. As with previous pause announcements, Carnival is giving guests who wish to move their booking to a later date a rebooking offer that combines a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) and either a $300 or $600 Onboard Credit (OBC) that has proven very popular with their guests. Guests, as always, have the option to receive a full refund. The process is fully automated so that guests can submit their preference online and they have until May 31, 2021 to make a selection.

“We appreciate the patience and support of our loyal guests, and recognize how much they want to get back to cruising. When the time is right, our outstanding onboard team will be waiting to welcome them back and give them the great vacation that they deserve,” said Duffy.

Royal Caribbean Extends Pause To Cruising
Given ongoing global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Group has decided to extend the suspension of most sailings through September 15, 2020, excluding sailings from China, suspended through the end of July, and sailings to Bermuda, suspended through October 31, 2020.

Royal Caribbean said that it is working with guests and travel partners to address this disruption to their vacations.

Carnival Corporation & plc Names New Chief Operations Officer
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced that Josh Weinstein has been named chief operations officer, effective immediately.

Reporting to Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald, Weinstein's responsibilities will include oversight of major operational functions, including global maritime, global ports and destinations, global sourcing, global IT and global auditing.

In addition, Weinstein will retain oversight of Carnival UK, the operating company for P&O Cruises and Cunard, which he managed directly for the past three years. Simon Palethorpe, currently president of Cunard, will assume added responsibilities in the role of president of Carnival UK.

The structural leadership moves are part of Carnival said that it 's broader efforts to enhance operations and mobilize the global organization prior to its return to cruising.

"Josh is a highly talented executive with extensive industry experience and institutional knowledge who will add important strength to our senior leadership team," said Donald. "We are leveraging our pause in cruising to make a number of strategic changes within our business, including this important role, which is designed to strengthen our global operations and position Carnival said that it and our brands for the future."

Weinstein's tenure with Carnival Corporation has included 10 years as Carnival said that it 's treasurer, as well as five years as an attorney in the corporate legal department.

"I am grateful for this opportunity and looking forward to taking on this important role at a critical time for our company," Weinstein said. "I certainly realize that many opportunities and challenges lie ahead as we look to restart our cruise operations around the globe. As we navigate this unprecedented time, we are fortunate to have world-class brands and extraordinary team members across the global organization with a proven track record of success to build on as we look toward returning to what we do best, which is providing our guests with the world's best vacation experience."

Prior to joining Carnival Corporation, Weinstein served as a corporate attorney. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the New York University School of Law.

A native of New York, Weinstein and his wife have three children.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 17.23 - 11.37%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 51.86 - 14.75%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.54 - 6.90%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 17.09 - 14.51%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ship received a repreive from the ship breakers to star in the 1976 re-make of the movie "Voyage of the Damned"

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which Holland America ship caught fire and sank off the Alaska coast in October 1980 while on a positioning cruise from Vancouver to the Orient? Her 524 passengers and crew were evacuated safely.

Answer - The Holland America liner MS Prinsendam, built in 1973, caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Alaska because a boiler explosion on October 4, 1980. All passengers and crew were saved. The liner finally sank on October 11.
courtesy of Fernando M., Seville, Spain.


Cruise News - June 15, 2020

Viking Marks Float Out Of Seventh Ocean Ship
Viking today announced its seventh ocean ship – the 930-guest Viking Venus – was "floated out," marking a major construction milestone and the first time that the new ship touches water. Scheduled to debut in early 2021, Viking Venus will spend her maiden season sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean and in Northern Europe.

"We started Viking's ocean project eight years ago, and together with Fincantieri we have built the world's most beautiful ships. Today we are pleased to celebrate this important milestone in the construction of our seventh ocean ship," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "As the world continues its path to recovery from COVID-19, we remain focused on the future, and with strong bookings for 2021 and the enthusiasm of our guests, we are optimistic about what is to come. I would like to thank our partners at Fincantieri and everyone working at the yard in Ancona for the hard work and dedication on the building of Viking Venus, and we look forward to welcoming her to our fleet early next year."

The traditional float out ceremony took place at Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard and is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. The float out of Viking Venus began at approximately 11:30 a.m. local time, when a cord was cut to allow water to begin flowing into the ship's building dock. Following a two-day process that will set Viking Venus afloat, she will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.

Carnival Cruise and Panama Partner to Organize Cross-Country Crew Transfer As Part of Repatriation Effort
In the final stages of its repatriation efforts for crew members, Carnival Cruise Line worked closely with key Panamanian officials, including the Panama Minister of Maritime Affairs, The Panama Maritime Authority, the Panama Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Panama Ministry of Health, to allow for the safe and efficient transfer of crew members from Carnival Miracle to cross the Isthmus of Panama via bus to join Carnival Glory on the country’s opposite coast.

With Carnival Miracle positioned on Panama’s Pacific coast, nearly 100 team members boarded busses for a 90-minute chartered transfer to join Carnival Glory which was docked on the country’s Atlantic side. Team members from other ships will also join Carnival Glory which will sail to Curacao for charter and commercial flights to their home countries.

“Panamanian officials truly went above and beyond in helping our team members transit their country and to facilitate their return home and for that we are very grateful. We would like to express our most sincere appreciation and thanks to many government agencies, local maritime partners and private operators for their role in making this cross-country transfer happen. Efforts like this reinforce the benefits strong partnerships play in maritime operations and safety,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

This week, Carnival Cruise Line has repatriated nearly 20,000 team members from its 27 ships and expects to complete the work of getting more than 26,000 crew members home to more than 100 nations over the coming weeks.

Paul Gauguin Cruises To Resume In July
Paul Gauguin Cruises announced this week that they are resuming their Tahiti and French Polynesia voyages starting in July 2020 and have released its comprehensive “Covid-Safe Protocol.”

French Polynesia is officially re-opening to international tourism on July 15, 2020, and more information on their travel policy can be found here. Paul Gauguin Cruises will offer 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands voyages departing July 11 and July 18, 2020, for the local French Polynesian market. Paul Gauguin Cruises will welcome both local and international guests on a 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus voyage departing July 29, 2020, from Papeete, Tahiti. In August 2020 and beyond, they will resume their previously scheduled 7- to 14-night Tahiti, French Polynesia, and South Pacific sailings.

In a statement, the cruise line said that the safety and security of guests and crew members remains Paul Gauguin Cruises’ top priority. The small size of The Gauguin, the medical infrastructure and teams on board, protocols and the professionalism of crew, ensured that there were no cases of Covid-19 contamination.

To prepare for the resumption of activity, Paul Gauguin Cruises and PONANT are collaborating with the IHU (Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire) Méditerranée Infection of Marseilles, one of the world's leading centers in the field of infectious diseases, as well as with the Battalion of Marine Firemen of Marseilles.

The cruise line said that the “Covid-Safe” health protocol has been developed by Paul Gauguin Cruises and PONANT and is based on health standards that exceed international regulations. This protocol is built on the principle of double protection: 100 percent monitoring of people and goods before boarding, then once on board, strict health protocols are applied.

In addition to strict cleaning procedures advised by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), implementation of social distancing requirements and enhanced employee training, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ new measures include:

Pre-Boarding

• Prior to boarding, all guests and crew members will have to present a signed doctor’s medical form, complete a health questionnaire, and undergo a health check and screening by the ship’s medical staff.

• All luggage will pass through a disinfecting zone by sanitizing mist or UV lamps.

• Surgical and cloth masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer bottles will be provided to passengers.

On-board experience

• 100 percent fresh air in staterooms, through non-recirculating air conditioning systems. Ventilated air will be renewed in the common areas at least five times per hour.

• Restaurant layouts have been redesigned and will only offer contactless a la carte dining options.

• Public spaces, such as the fitness room and theater will be capped at 50 percent occupancy.

• Hourly disinfecting of high-touch points, such as door handles and handrails, with EcoLab peroxide, which eliminates 100 percent of germs, bacteria and against biological contamination.

• Crew members are required to wear a mask or protective visor when in contact with guests. Guests will be asked to wear a mask in hallway corridors and will be recommended in public spaces.

• The Gauguin is equipped with advanced hospital equipment, including mobile laboratory terminals that enable testing on site for infectious or tropical diseases. Advanced diagnostic equipment such as ultrasound, radiology and blood biological analysis is available, and one doctor and one nurse are present on every sailing.

Shore excursions

• Zodiacs will be thoroughly disinfected after each stopover.

• Re-boarding after shore excursions will only be permitted after temperature check and disinfection procedures (individuals and personal belongings).

The complete “Covid-Safe Protocol” manifesto that has been developed is available online here.

Holland America Line Extends its Pause of Cruise Operations to Fall Vancouver Departures and Early 2021 Hawaii Itineraries
With travel and port restrictions continuing for the near future due to global health concerns, Holland America Line is extending its pause of cruise operations and cancelling additional departures from the port of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 2020, as well as select Hawaii itineraries for early 2021.

The following cruises are affected:

Eurodam:

• Sept. 26, 2020, 22-day Panama Canal cruise from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Koningsdam:

• Sept. 26, 2020, seven-day Pacific Northwest cruise from Vancouver to San Diego, California.

• Jan. 16 and Feb. 2, 2021, Circle Hawaii Voyages roundtrip from San Diego.

Maasdam:

• Sept. 21, 2020, 16-day Mexico and Sea of Cortez itinerary from Vancouver to San Diego.

Noordam:

• Sept. 27, 2020, 14-day North Pacific Crossing from Vancouver to Yokohama, Japan.

Volendam:

• Sept. 30, Oct. 3 and Oct. 10, 2020, three- and seven-day Pacific Northwest and coastal cruises from Vancouver.

Westerdam:

• Sept. 20, 2020, 17-day Circle Hawaii cruise roundtrip from Vancouver.

• Oct. 7, 2020, 23-day Inca Discovery voyage from Vancouver to San Antonio (Santiago), Chile.

All shorter segments within the above cruise departures are cancelled. Collectors' Voyages that combine back-to-back cruises including the above departure dates are also cancelled.

Those with impacted cruises automatically will be cancelled, and no action is needed for guests opting for the Future Cruise Credit (FCC). All guests will receive an FCC per person as follows:

• Paid in Full: Those who had paid in full will receive 125% FCC of the base cruise fare paid to Holland America Line.

• Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full will receive an FCC of double the amount of the deposit paid for the cruise. The minimum FCC is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.

The FCC is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. All other funds paid to Holland America Line may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.

Guests who prefer a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences form to indicate this preference no later than July 15, 2020.

The above options are not applicable to guests booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may?apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line. See the terms and conditions in the Cancellation Preferences form for all details.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.44 - 21.96%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 60.83 - 19.02%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.58 - 6.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 19.99 - 25.58%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which Holland America ship caught fire and sank off the Alaska coast in October 1980 while on a positioning cruise from Vancouver to the Orient? Her 524 passengers and crew were evacuated safely.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - To celebrate the 130th anniversary of the City of Yokohama a consortium of Japanese companies chartered the QE2 for 72 days from March 27th 1989. She docked alongside the passenger terminal as a central attraction and although she did not go to sea she maintained her status as an ocean liner.
courtesy of Ralph Sackett, Lichfield UK


Cruise News - June 8, 2020

Silversea Welcomes Silver Origin To Its Fleet
Silversea Cruises, the leading ultra-luxury cruise line, has taken delivery of its first-ever destination-specific ship, Silver Origin, from Dutch shipyard De Hoop. An intimate ceremony, held on Wednesday June 3, 2020, marked the first in-person cruise ship delivery since the pandemic prompted a global lockdown.

"It was a very proud moment for me to attend Silver Origin's official delivery ceremony in person, and to welcome Silversea's first-ever destination-specific ship to our fleet. I am very grateful to all involved in the build, especially the professionals at De Hoop Shipyard," says Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio. "In September 2013, Silversea became the first cruise line to launch an ultra-luxury ship in the Galapagos Archipelago. We have invested our accrued know-how into the design of Silver Origin. Every element of the ship has been designed with the destination in mind and tailored to enhance the experience for travellers, while fostering a deep sense of respect for this magnificent ecosystem and everything that inhabits it."

"We welcome the beautiful Silver Origin to our fleet as the first ship since the start of our collaboration with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's President & CEO. "The ship demonstrates how fruitful our collaboration has been, while providing an indication of the great success to come. With Silversea's destination expertise and the invaluable support of the RCL group, we have pushed the boundaries of ultra-luxury travel in the Galapagos with Silver Origin. I want to extend my gratitude to all those involved, including my colleagues at both Silversea and RCL, but especially to the De Hoop Shipyard who overcame many challenges to complete the ship."

"It has been extremely rewarding to work on this project, and we are proud for having been able to deliver the ship in spite of the external challenges," says Patrick Janssens, CEO of De Hoop Shipyard. "The delivery ceremony marked a momentous moment for both parties, and delivering Silver Origin to Silversea's Executives here in Rotterdam was a great pleasure. We wish the cruise line every success for the future and we look forward to seeing this beautiful ship in the Galapagos Islands where she belongs."

Integrating the latest state-of-the-art technology and designed with a focus on the pillars of sustainability, destination on board, expedition experience, authentic local culture, and comfort and service, the all-suite, all-balcony, 100-guest Silver Origin will welcome travellers year-round in the unique Galapagos Archipelago. The ship will provide guests with the ultimate destination experience, inspired by Silversea's accrued expertise and founded on a deep respect for the fragility of the natural environment, while maintaining the cruise line's trademark quality of service.

Innovative, enriching, elegant, each of Silver Origin's spaces has been designed specifically with the Galapagos in mind by Hirsch Bedner Associates Miami. Silversea's executives visited each to experience first-hand how they will create unique synergies between the destination and the ship.

THE MARINA: AN EXCEPTIONAL ARRIVAL EXPERIENCE

As a key point of entry to the ship/destination, the Marina has been designed with great attention-to-detail to offer guests an unprecedented arrival/disembarkation experience. Connected to the Basecamp, the Zodiac embarkation area features large comfortable couches, as well as showers for guests to rinse their gear, racks to conveniently store wetsuits and other equipment, and an innovative fold-out stern with special boarding facilities that can accommodate two Zodiacs at the same time. As Silver Origin will have the highest Zodiac-to-guest ratio in the Galapagos at 1:12.5, a large garage with hydraulic doors, hatches and cranes has been created between decks 2 and 3 to store six of the ship's eight Zodiacs, while two will be stored on the bow.

BASECAMP: IMMERSIVE DISCOVERY ON BOARD

Basecamp is one of Silver Origin's most innovative spaces, designed especially to bring the destination on board. The heart of the ship, the 551m2 Basecamp will host educational activities in which guests will interact with Silversea's team of expert guides—all permanent residents of the Galapagos and certified by the Galapagos National Park—to learn more about the rare wildlife, remarkable landscapes and captivating history of the Galapagos Islands, before and after excursions.

With bespoke software created exclusively for Silversea by strategic-design studio Sketchin and with input from Silversea's Expedition Team, the centrepiece of Basecamp is a 624x162cm interactive digital wall—the largest interactive screen in the Galapagos—and control podium. Through this interactive programme, which will change according to the itinerary, guests will be able to access extraordinary destination-related content, including historical pictures provided by the Royal Geographical Society of London, videos with exclusive aerial and underwater shots, excursion previews and scientific presentations. The Expedition Team will use the LED wall to introduce guests to the wonders of the Galapagos before they embark on Zodiac and kayak adventures to experience them first-hand.

THE EXPLORER LOUNGE: AN ELEGANT SPACE TO UNWIND

Offering an inviting space in which guests can relax of an evening, while enjoying a cocktail and a book from Silver Origin's curated library, the 479m2 Explorer Lounge exudes the same elegance that characterises the other ships in Silversea's ultra-luxury fleet. The space doubles as a state-of-the-art lecture room and will host daily lectures and briefings, as well as live piano performances. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the destination inside, while a large video wall with state-of-the-art AV technology and wide HD screens in different seating areas will optimise guests' expedition experience. Outside, a beautiful terrace with comfortable sofas and armchairs, including a round central sofa with a fire pit, will offer guests the perfect spot in which to unwind with a drink before and after lectures.

THE RESTAURANT & THE GRILL: AN IMMERSIVE CULINARY PHILOSOPHY

In-line with Silversea's new S.A.L.T. programme, Silver Origin's guests will benefit from a uniquely immersive culinary philosophy, centred upon regionally-grown ingredients, Ecuadorian cuisine, and a farm-to-table approach. Locally-inspired culinary experiences—both on board and ashore—will strengthen travellers' connections with the unique culture, landscapes and people of the Galapagos, as well as those of Ecuador. The Restaurant on Deck 4 (capacity: 120) and the Grill on Deck 7 (capacity: 100) will each be able to accommodate all guests at once, offering diners the luxury of choice. Silversea's Hot Rocks concept will be tailored with an Ecuadorian twist at the Grill, where an advanced sheltering system will protect diners from the wind and low temperatures for maximum comfort.

SPA & FITNESS CENTRE: STATE-OF-THE-ART RELAXATION

Silver Origin's Fitness Centre features state-of-the-art Technogym equipment and offers guests outstanding views on the destination with floor-to-ceiling windows. The Spa, with a dedicated treatment room for therapies and massages, is the ideal place in which to relax after a day of exploration on the islands. The Beauty Salon will offer a wide array of services, including hairdressing and manicure/pedicure.

OBSERVATION LOUNGE: A COSY HIDEAWAY

Located at the very front of the ship, the 75m2 Observation Lounge is one of the cosiest venues on board, offering an elegant hideaway with incredible views on the destination thanks to 180-degree floor-to-ceiling glass windows. After a long day spent exploring the Galapagos Archipelago, guests will find ultimate relaxation in the Observation Lounge, perhaps reading a book from the carefully selected library or just enjoying a vivid sunset.

GUEST SUITES: AMONG THE MOST SPACIOUS IN THE GALAPAGOS

Recognising that days spent exploring the islands can be intense, Silver Origin's suites are among the most spacious and comfortable in the Galapagos: the Owner's Suite, for example, measures a total of 160m2 (1,722ft2) and provides sweeping views of the destination with a vast veranda. Silver Origin whispers luxury as the only ship in the archipelago to offer butler service for all suites. Guests will enjoy the highest crew-to-guest ratio in the region (1:1.11) for unparalleled levels of personalised comfort. All suites benefit from full room automation, which allows guests to control room conditions with the touch of a button.

Spectacular destination-focused views are among the hallmarks of Silver Origin's suites, whose design and amenities were inspired by the acclaimed suites of Silversea's larger ships. Outfitted in neutral tones and natural materials that complement the Galapagos' environment, and designed by GEM, all suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony, while select suites feature the innovate Horizon Balcony, which converts to a floor-to-ceiling window at the touch of a button. Most upper suites incorporate an ocean-view bathtub and shower, some of which are accessible from the balcony.

ADDRESSING SUSTAINABILITY

Built with the environment in mind as one of the most energy-efficient ships in its class, Silver Origin incorporates environmentally low-impact features to comply with future rules and regulations, in addition to the Galapagos National Park Directorate regulations. The latest technological innovations mean a 15% reduction in fuel consumption and fewer exhaust emissions. The ship's dynamic positioning system will be used when positioned over delicate seabed ecosystems to prevent the anchor from causing damage; suites incorporate freshwater purification systems that convert seawater into drinking water, thus drastically reducing the use of plastic on board; and a wastewater treatment system will meet or exceed the strictest regulations in the market. Moreover, all waste will undergo a rigid segregation procedure on board and will be delivered to a local waste management enterprise for it to be recycled or shipped out of the islands.

Silversea Cruises has launched the Silversea Fund for the Galapagos—a dedicated fund that will support educational projects to safeguard the wellbeing of the Galapagos Islands for future generations. By supporting a diverse selection of projects each year, the Silversea Fund will strengthen the balance between humans and nature in the Galapagos, as part of a long-term conservation strategy. The fund's donors will enjoy savings on Silversea's voyages, as the cruise line will match guests' contributions in the form of a Future Cruise Credit to underpin its commitment to the cause.

Cunard Extends Pause in Operations
Cunard cruise line announced today that, as a result of the continued impact of Covid-19, it will be extending the pause in operations.

For its ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, Cunard is cancelling all sailings that were due to depart up to and including 1 November, 2020 and for Queen Elizabeth, departures up to and including the 23 November, 2020.

Cunard President, Simon Palethorpe, said, "With many differing restrictions across countries, people's ability to move freely and safely across borders remains seemingly someway in the distance. For Cunard, where we celebrate having a truly international mix of guests and sail all over the world, this becomes particularly impactful. We also need to better understand the implications Covid-19 will have on board our ships. We are therefore working, at the highest level possible, with government bodies, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - the CDC - and Public Health England, as well as the industry collective body – CLIA - and other expert medical professionals to review every aspect of a holiday with us."

He added: "Whilst we have always taken pride in having the highest levels of health and safety, we are looking at enhanced protocols across all aspects of ship life and experiences on shore. We will only return to service when we have a comprehensive restart protocol with the stamps of approval and accreditation from the most trusted and informed sources."

Cunard will be communicating with all guests, and their travel advisors, who are booked on affected voyages.

As Cunard has done previously during this pause period, guests who are booked on cancelled voyages will automatically be given a 125% Future Cruise Credit. This can be redeemed against any new booking made by the end of December 2021 on any voyage that's on sale at the time of booking.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Global Ship Operations on Select Sailings in Australia, Canada and Taiwan
Due to extension of the closure of cruise ports in regions around the world and other factors impacting international travel, Princess Cruises is extending its pause in cruise operations with respect to the following voyages:

• All cruises sailing in and out of Australia through mid-September on Sea Princess, Majestic Princess, Sun Princess and Sapphire Princess

• All cruises in and out of Vancouver and Seattle in September and October on Coral Princess, Emerald Princess, Grand Princess, Royal Princess, Ruby Princess and Star Princess

• Pacific and California Coast 7-day roundtrip cruises from San Francisco departing in September and October 2020 on Star Princess

• All roundtrip cruises from Keelung, Taiwan, departing August 2020 on Majestic Princess

Guests currently booked on these canceled voyages, who have paid Princess in full, will have the option to receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare (not applicable on charter voyages).

For guests who have not paid in full, Princess will Double the Deposit, providing a refundable FCC for the money currently on deposit plus a matching bonus FCC that can be used on any voyage through May 1, 2022. The matching bonus FCC is non-refundable, will not exceed the base cruise fare amount of the currently booked cruise and will have a minimum value of $100 per person.

For Sea Princess, Sun Princess, and Sapphire Princess May and June sailings a different offer was provided.

In order to receive the above FCC no action is required.

Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by June 30, 2020, or guest will be registered for the Future Cruise Credit option.

Royal Caribbean Announces Closing Of Concurrent Offerings Of $2.15 Billion Senior Guaranteed Notes And Senior Convertible Notes
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced that it has closed its concurrent private offerings of $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of 9.125% Senior Guaranteed Notes due 2023 (the "Senior Notes") and $1.15 billion aggregate principal amount of 4.250% of Convertible Senior Notes due 2023 (the "Convertible Notes" and, collectively with the Senior Notes, the "Notes"). The Senior Notes will mature on June 15, 2023 unless earlier redeemed or repurchased and the Convertible Notes will mature on June 15, 2023, unless earlier converted, redeemed pursuant to a tax redemption or repurchased.

The Senior Notes are fully and unconditionally guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by RCI Holdings LLC, a limited liability company formed and existing under the laws of Liberia and a direct, wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company that owns 100% of the equity interest of certain of the Company's wholly-owned vessel-owning subsidiaries. The Convertible Notes will not be guaranteed by any of the Company's subsidiaries.

The Company expects to use the combined net proceeds from the offerings of the Notes for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment of indebtedness.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 24.91 + 48.27%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 75.12 + 35.01%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.62 + 6.90%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 26.86 + 55.35%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship survived being struck by a 100 foot high rogue wave while approaching Casablanca during her world cruise of 1976? She rolled an estimated 40 degrees but was able to right herself.

Answer - The ship in question is the Rotterdam (V) of Holland America Line.
courtesy of Keith Brittin


Cruise News - June 1, 2020

Crystal Endeavor Delivery Delayed to 2021
Crystal Cruises announced this week that it continues to closely monitor and evaluate the current COVID-19 situation. The cruise line also said that the MV WERFTEN shipyard where Crystal Endeavor is being constructed continues to be closed and that they are awaiting further information on when it will be fully operational. Additionally, cruise ports around the world remain temporarily closed including Australia and New Zealand. Because of these factors, Crystal has made the decision to further postpone the introduction of Crystal Endeavor and cancel the remainder of the ship’s 2020 itineraries.

In the announcement, Crystal said "We know that our guests, and the entire Crystal Family, have been looking forward to the introduction of our newest ship and we want to sincerely apologize that your travel plans have been impacted by this unprecedented global health pandemic. We are pleased to provide guests booked on Crystal Endeavor’s November or December 2020 sailings with Credits* equal to 125% of their cruise fare paid or deposit paid – valid on any Crystal experience (Ocean, River, Yacht or Expedition) embarking through December 31, 2023 - along with a refund of port charges, taxes, and fees, and air and hotel packages booked through Crystal."

Crystal encouraged its guests to contact their travel advisor to assist them with rebooking their future Crystal cruise. Full year voyage collections for each Crystal experience – through 2022 are available now to review and our 2023 Ocean collection will be online in early July of this year with 2023 deployments for River, Yacht and Expedition following in due course.

With more than 30 years of cruising to the far reaches of the world, Crystal has a long tradition of implementing and maintaining the highest health and safety policies at sea. While their fleet is paused, the Crystal said that its team is developing new procedures and policies that will support all public health and regulatory requirements and ensure that their guests’ vacations continue to be not only relaxing and pleasurable but safe and healthy. Details of these new measures and initiatives will be announced soon.

In the announcement, Crystal also noted that the inherent design of Crystal ships maximizes personal and public space, offering plenty of options for those who choose to keep a healthy distance during their voyage. All Crystal ships across the fleet including Ocean, River, Yacht and Expedition offer nearly double the space per person than ships of a similar size, which is among the highest space ratios in the industry and will be further augmented through the new measures we will be implementing. Further, Crystal Endeavor and Crystal’s River ships are all-suite, featuring all-balcony suites and most staterooms on their two Ocean ships feature private verandas for fresh airflow.

Carnival Cruise Line Says “Hvala” to Dubrovnik
Carnival Cruise Line issued a big “hvala” (thank you) to Dubrovnik, Croatia today, after an extraordinary effort resulted in the repatriation of nearly 3,000 Carnival team members through the Port of Dubrovnik last week.

The cruise industry really does bring the citizens of the world together and Carnival proudly boasts 110 nationalities amongst its onboard team. That can make things complicated in this current situation as the world’s largest cruise line works to repatriate more than 26,000 team members home, with a backdrop of some nations with closed borders, flight options limited, and debarkation and immigration policies frequently changing.

“Luckily, Carnival has great port partners all over the world who are working with Carnival said that it . And today, we’d like to recognize our friends in the Republic of Croatia and the Port of Dubrovnik. Over the past week, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Magic made calls on the magical city of Dubrovnik and safely and successfully repatriated nearly 3,000 Carnival team members. Not just our Croatian citizens and those of neighboring countries like Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia that we connected home by bus, but we were also able to book commercial flights for hundreds of others trying to get home to dozens of European nations, as well as Indonesia and the Philippines. Carnival wants to acknowledge the many government agencies, private operators and local maritime partners that played such an important role in this mission. When Dubrovnik is ready, we can’t wait to get back to cruise operations to bring our ships, crew and wonderful guests to this beautiful city,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

P&O Cruises extends pause in operations for all sailings until October 15, 2020
P&O Cruises has announced an extension to the pause in its operations until October 15, 2020 as it focuses on working in close coordination with all relevant public health bodies to approve further enhancement of Carnival said that it 's already stringent health and safety protocols.

In the latest of a series of videos P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said:

"As a business our operational focus is not "when can we resume sailing?" but is instead "how can we develop a comprehensive restart protocol that will keep everyone on board, our crew and guests, safe and well and still give our guests an amazing holiday?"

"We are working with government and industry bodies at the highest possible level, such as Public Health England (PHE) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to review every aspect of a holiday with us and establish a framework of policies and procedures. Our aspiration is to be adopting best practice in managing COVID-19 within the travel industry.

"Unfortunately, as the world continues to adapt to this global crisis, we have made the decision, difficult as it is, to extend our pause in operations for all sailings up to and including October 15, 2020. We are so sorry for the disappointment this will cause to so many of our guests."

All guests who were booked on these cancelled sailings will receive an enhanced Future Cruise Credit which gives an additional 25% on top of the amount paid for the holiday.

Ludlow continued:

"We have now amended our systems so that those guests with the enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit may now redeem them online without the need to call us, which will make things much easier for our guests. Further details of this will be on the website."

Following feedback from guests P&O Cruises has also confirmed that the Future Cruise Credit, which may be held until the end of 2021, may be put against any holiday on sale at that time, giving guests maximum flexibility and choice.

FCCs may also be used to upgrade or for a second cabin for any existing booking and also may be gifted or transferred to someone else. This option will also be available until the end of December 2021.

"P&O Cruises is also introducing a 5% deposit for new bookings made between 27 May and 29 June 2020. The offer is available on applicable Early Saver and Select Price holidays of 19 nights or fewer from January 2021. See website for details.

"We want to apologise once again to those guests who wait for refunds, particularly at a time of financial constraints, however the new technology we have in place is rapidly improving things though and we continue to make further progress on a daily basis."

Expanding on the likely protocols Ludlow said:

"We have for years had in place many of the protocols now considered advisable for other social gathering venues, such as hand-sanitizing stations and rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures. We also have for years gone beyond those protocols by having guests complete a health declaration form and having a comprehensive medical facility on board each ship providing 24/7 medical care and treatment. During the recent crisis, we added robust health screening upon embarkation, starting with thermal scanning of guests and crew.

"Along with the rest of the world, we will adapt. We will work closely with medical experts and global authorities to help us determine the best way to move forward while honoring our highest responsibility – the health, safety, and wellbeing of our guests, crew and communities we visit, along with compliance and environmental protection.

"We have always taken such pride in our standards of cleanliness and hygiene before Covid-19, but when we return there will be enhanced protocols approved by hospitality and national public health authorities. This will ensure we continue to have in place high levels of cleanliness across every single aspect of public areas, crew living areas and every item of furniture in cabins and everywhere on board as well as approved safety standards for the service of food and drink; entertainment and experiences on board and on shore.

"When the time is right, we will be ready to resume our tradition of providing amazing holiday experiences for our guests."

Norwegian Cruise Line Releases New Health Protocols
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced today new health protocols that will be in effect when the cruise line resumes operations. NCL said that it has been working closely with the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and are adding stringent protocols, strategic application and supporting innovation to meet and exceed their standards once those have been finalized by them. The below are the safety measures we will immediately be implementing fleetwide, with more in development.

ALL-NEW AIR FILTRATION
Installation of medical-grade air-filters, H13 HEPA, that remove 99.95% of airborne pathogens across our entire fleet to ensure the air you breathe is clean.

• Replace existing filters with H13 HEPA filters – Medical Grade
H13 HEPA is one of the highest grades of particulate air filter, removing 99.95% of all particulates 0.1 microns or larger. For comparison purposes, COVID-19 is 0.125 microns (25% larger), a single blood cell is 10 microns (10,000% larger) and a single human hair is 75 microns (75,000% larger).

ENHANCED SCREENING PROTOCOLS
All guests will undergo an enhanced pre-embarkation health screening, and those considered at risk will undergo additional screening. Additionally, all crew will undergo extensive screening prior to embarkation and constant monitoring throughout the voyage. Touchless temperature checks and continuous monitoring of guests and crew throughout the voyage will help identify potential health issues, offering an additional layer of prevention and protection.

• Temperature Screenings -Touchless temperature checks will occur:

• Prior to embarkation

• Upon returning to the ship from a port of call

• Prior to all meals in dining venues

• Prior to all activities in public venues

• Prior to disembarkation

• Crew Screenings -A healthy crew helps ensure healthy guests. Constant monitoring of crew health includes temperature checks multiple times per day as well as rigid sanitation protocols

We’re enhancing our existing Pre-Employment Medical Examination process, which already screens for a wide variety of infectious diseases, to ensure the health and safety of our crew. We’re exploring on board testing capabilities that will allow crew members to undergo the latest, most advanced form of COVID-19 testing at any time throughout their employment contract Sanitation Icon

INCREASED SANITATION MEASURES
All ships are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to every voyage in accordance with company protocols, which are developed in partnership with CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program. Embarkation terminals will be sanitized continuously, and, where possible, fogged before and after each embarkation and debarkation. Further, all staterooms, suites and public areas will be cleaned, sanitized and disinfected at an increased frequency, and including the use of Electrostatic Spray Technology. Increased sanitation efforts include:

• HOCl Fogging in Staterooms & Public Areas
Fogging in staterooms and public areas with the disinfectant hypochlorous acid (HOCI). Hypochlorous acid is a non-toxic, powerful oxidant that effectively kills bacteria, spores, and viruses. It is natural and safe to use in open areas since it is comprised of natural elements such as water and salt, and electric charge.

• Increased frequencies of cleaning
Our 24/7 prevention schedule will feature continuous disinfection of public areas and high-traffic touch points. We will ensure that cleaning occurs continuously for all elevators and all public areas during on and off-peak hours.

• Full Service Buffets
Buffets and beverage stations will be full service with staff available to serve guests.

• Personal Hygiene
All guests will be strongly encouraged to engage in frequent handwashing, including when entering food and beverage venues, and hand sanitizer will be prominently placed and easily accessible throughout the ship. Social Distancing Icon

RESPONSIBLE SOCIAL DISTANCING
To provide even more space for responsible social distancing, guest capacity on board will be reduced. Staggered embarkation and online check-in will be implemented for proper social distancing. In addition, we are committed to reducing capacity in all public areas throughout the voyage.

• Online check-in and staggered embarkation
We continue to work with port and government authorities to determine procedures that are in accordance with CDC and global health agencies’ guidance, to implement protocols that allow for proper social distancing during the embarkation process, including staggered embarkation and advanced check-in procedures.

• Social Distancing Onboard
All onboard activities will still be available, although operated at a reduced capacity, and in some cases, slightly modified in order to ensure safe social distancing. We’ll take necessary precautions and follow applicable public health guidelines to ensure guest health and safety, which is our highest priority at all times. Medical Facilities Icon

ENHANCED MEDICAL RESOURCES
Onboard medical centers will be fully equipped with the latest testing kits and medical supplies. We are also increasing our medical team fleetwide. Additionally, each ship has dedicated isolation accommodations should the need arise.

• Testing kits and medical supplies include:

• Advanced on-site rapid diagnostic testing for COVID-19

• Increased inventory of medical oxygen equipment

• Increased inventory of vaccinations

• Increased inventory of medication to treat COVID-19

• Enhanced health & safety trainings and continued education for crew members

• We will begin to introduce a newly created onboard position of Public Health Officer, responsible for the oversight of all sanitation and outbreak prevention initiatives. Additionally, they will monitor the day-to-day cleanliness of all public areas and accommodations, maintaining compliance with the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program.

EXTENDED SHIP TO SHORE SAFETY

• We’re partnering with our local destinations and tour operators to ensure our industry-leading health and sanitation protocols extend to the shoreside experience.

• We will only visit safe, open ports of call which may cause changes to your itinerary. Keeping our guests up-to-date with the latest confirmed changes impacting their itineraries is a top priority.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.80 + 16.18%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 55.64 + 28.98%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.58 + 1.75%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 17.29 + 24.39%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship survived being struck by a 100 foot high rogue wave while approaching Casablanca during her world cruise of 1976? She rolled an estimated 40 degrees but was able to right herself.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which famous liner came to the assistance of the Andrea Doria after she was struck by the Swedish liner Stockholm in 1956?

Answer - It was the famous Ile de France of the French Line.
courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselmann


Cruise News - May 25, 2020

Carnival Corporation CEO Talks Future of Cruising
Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, joined editor-in-chief of Porthole Cruise Magazine, Bill Panoff, to discuss the latest news in cruise and Carnival Corporation's response to COVID-19, including what's ahead for Carnival said that it and cruise industry overall. Donald spoke to the resilience of an industry that was in the midst of unprecedented growth for the past 10 years before the unexpected spread of COVID-19 sent cruise lines into a holding pattern.

"One reason this lockdown has been hard on everybody is [it is] also taking them away from the people and the experiences they value the most, and cruising is such a big part of that for so many people. We live, in cruise, in the hearts of millions of people."

When asked if he was surprised by the eagerness of cruisers to get back on board, Donald spoke to the value many people place on the relationships and experiences in their lives.

"I think that this whole experience with shelter in place, stay-at-home, has helped a lot of people to slow down and focus on what's important in their lives: family, friends, having experiences," he said.

Donald noted that partnerships with travel professionals will be an important part of returning the industry to normal. A collaborative effort will help Carnival Corporation and its nine cruise line brands reach their goal of coming out of this situation stronger than ever before. Partnerships with cruise and travel professionals around the world can strengthen the knowledge and understanding of the many health protocols already in place to keep cruise passengers safe while enjoying their vacation, and also inform cruisers of what the cruise lines will be doing to further enhance procedures and protocols to provide a healthy and safe experience.

vA pause in operation hasn't just affected cruise lines. Ports all over the world rely on revenue brought in by cruise ships, particularly in the Caribbean. Donald explained that speaking with officials from ports and local governments in recent months makes it clear the region is anxious for a return to normalcy. Communication between ports and cruise lines will be key for a safe and effective industry restart.

Donald acknowledged that the upcoming release of Mardi Gras from the corporation's Carnival Cruise Line brand would come later than scheduled, but he said that once the ship is delivered, cruisers would love the new and improved version of the Carnival brand's classic ship.

He also touched on the corporation's investment in a new cruise terminal in Dubai and why cruisers unfamiliar with the region should be excited for the chance to experience a place full of unique culture, exquisite cuisine and a rich history with plenty of places to explore.

Donald also discussed how the current pandemic is a once-in-a-generation event, and that people around the world are doing their best to navigate through the global health crisis as the situation evolves, using the best information available at any given time.

The discussion also touched on whether Carnival Corporation had received cash bailout from the government, with Donald noting that Carnival said that it "received no bailout from the U.S. government in any shape, form or fashion" and instead raised funding on its own in the event of an extended pause.

Regarding the timing of Carnival said that it 's and industry's decision to pause cruise operations on March 13, Donald said it was a move made "to stand with everyone in trying to mitigate the spread of this virus."

Explained Donald: "Before virtually anyone else in the travel and hospitality industry, we made the decision, voluntarily, to stop all our cruises. … Never before in the history of our company, of our industry, have we stopped all our ships like that. It was an enormously consequential decision that we knew would be difficult."

Added Donald: "There will be a lot of analyzing of how everybody handled their COVID-19 response. Countries, cities, businesses, transportation in general and I know we're going to look at ourselves to look at everything we did, to learn from it, to develop best practices going forward so hopefully it'll never happen again. But in the unlikely event we have to deal with something like this again, we would have learned from this one and be able to handle it even better the next time."

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Sailings Will Resume July 25th
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line today announced that sailings will resume onboard Grand Celebration July 25th and onboard Grand Classica October 2nd. In addition, the cruise line’s renowned, award-winning Cruise & Stay Program, which lets guests extend their stay in the Bahamas for up to four nights at one of Carnival said that it ’s resort partners, will also be available for bookings beginning October 2nd. As the cruise line prepares for its anticipated return, it is putting travelers’ health and safety front and center, rolling out an extensive list of new preventative measures designed to ensure the wellness of both passengers and crew.

“As things begin to return to normal after months of quarantine, we can all use a quick getaway. When we return, our onboard experience may look a little different to our guests,” said Oneil Khosa, CEO of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. “The wellness of our passengers and crew members remains our top priority, and as such, passengers can expect enhanced sanitization procedures from embarkation to disembarkation so that they can enjoy a relaxing, safe, stress-free getaway. We look forward to welcoming everyone onboard soon!”

As the only cruise line that departs from the Port of Palm Beach, with the only two-night short-cruise product on the market, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is implementing a variety of new processes to ensure the health and safety of all onboard. The new measures encompass protocols for guest accommodations, common areas onboard the ships, recreational facilities, food hygiene, and more. Highlights include:

Capacity control:

Closing two-passenger stateroom decks to reduce crowds onboard the ship:
• Limit the number of in-use staterooms to reduce onboard capacity by 40 percent :
• These protocols will encourage social distancing and provide one of the highest guests to space ratios in the industry

Embarkation and disembarkation:
• All guests required to practice social distancing from valet parking to terminal check-in
• All terminal staff members will be monitored and required to wear masks and remain behind safety plexiglass for minimal contact
• Passenger luggage will be disinfected prior to onboard delivery
• Mandatory touch-free temperature checks and pre-boarding health declarations for all guests
• Extensive sanitization and disinfection processes at entry of port terminal, ships, and passenger walkway areas
• Online check-in for guests, who will receive designated arrival times at cruise terminal to streamline embarkation and minimize crowds in Port

Guest accommodations:
• Sanitization of all cabins with hospital-grade disinfectants
• Fogging of vacant cabins and twice-daily wipe down of hallways
• Disinfection of guest bathrooms with heavy-duty alkaline cleaner
• Timely housekeeping cabin turnover with sheets and linens cleaned and disinfected at sterilizing temperatures

Common areas:

All onboard public areas will undergo a two-tier sanitization process, which includes cleansing and fogging using hospital-grade disinfectant. Frequency includes:
• Elevators every two hours
• Public areas and facilities up to ten times per day
• Frequently touched areas, including handrails, table-tops, and door handles will be sterilized every hour
• All floors will be disinfected with a heavy-duty neutral PH floor cleaning solution
• All onboard areas will include fully stocked self-service hand sanitizer stations

Food hygiene:
• All restaurants and bar areas will be cleaned and sanitized three times a day
• Self-service buffet stations have been suspended; all food and beverage will be served by crew members wearing face masks, hats, aprons, and gloves
• Tables and seating areas will keep guests six feet apart to facilitate social distancing
• Stringent procurement guidelines will be enforced, and products from certain regions will be prohibited

Entertainment and recreation:
• Theatres will be thoroughly sanitized before and after each show
• Kids’ Club facilities will be cleaned twice per day
• Spa and gym areas will be sanitized before and after each use, including common areas within these facilities twice daily
• Tour buses for excursions will be reduced to 50 percent capacity, sanitized frequently, and tour operators will be trained using guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO)
• Casino players per table will be restricted to ensure social distancing and slot machines will be positioned to separate players

Practices and standards for crew members: • Twice daily temperature checks
• All frontline crew are required to wear face masks, and all food service crew serving guests in the buffet are required to wear disposable hats, aprons, masks, and gloves
• Housekeeping and food and beverage crew are required to wear both disposable gloves and masks. The disposal of all gloves and masks will align with the CDC’s guidelines
• All crew will be required to use antibacterial hand soap for at least 20 seconds to sanitize hands
• All crew members are required to practice social distancing, and each crew member will be allocated their own cabin onboard the ships

Medical center:
• Isolated wards available in the medical center for ill guests or those who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19
• Contaminated items and medical waste will be properly sealed and disposed of according to the CDC’s guidelines
• Used face masks and protective equipment will be disposed of at designated central collection points
• Medical equipment and waste bins will be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and washed twice daily with hospital-grade disinfectants

Fresh air ventilation system:
• Implemented a fresh air ventilation system to ensure healthy air quality in all onboard cabins and common areas
• All air filters and cooling coils will be thoroughly checked, cleaned and replaced as needed

Costa Extends Pause in Operations Until July 31
Costa announced a further pause for its cruises until 31 July 2020. The decision is linked to the uncertainty of a gradual reopening of ports to cruise ships and the restrictions that may still be in place for the movements of people due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Costa is taking steps to inform both travel agents and guests affected by the changes. They will be guaranteed a re-protection in accordance with the applicable legislation, which offers the greatest guarantee in this contingency situation.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.46 - 1.77%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 43.14 - 1.28%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.57 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 13.90 + 7.29%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous liner came to the assistance of the Andrea Doria after she was struck by the Swedish liner Stockholm in 1956?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ship is widely acknowledged to be the first vessel designed solely for cruising? What year did she enter service?

Answer - Cunard's Caronia is widely acknowledged to be the first vessel designed solely for cruising. She entered service in 1948.
courtesy of Michael Walls


Cruise News - May 18, 2020

Silversea Prepares To Take Delivery Of New Ship Silver Origin
Silversea Cruises prepares to take delivery of new ship Silver Origin, following a great display of resilience, determination and fine European craftsmanship from Dutch shipyard De Hoop. Despite of the global lockdown, De Hoop implemented rigid safety procedures, reduced its workforce, and devised ingenious ways to overcome posed challenges, including a world-first during the ship's sea trial.

On March 15, 2020—four days after coronavirus was declared as a global pandemic—the Netherlands implemented a national lockdown, and the country ground to a halt to safeguard the health of its people. Relatively isolated in Lobith, a remote corner of the Netherlands, De Hoop shipyard offered its approximately 250 employees the option to cease working.

While many were forced to return to their families or to their country of origin before borders closed, approximately 200 employees—mainly skilled carpenters—opted to continue, working tirelessly to apply their craftsmanship to the ship's guest suites. Many employees were accommodated in an on-site residential facility, known as Barge Rossini, which had a reduced capacity from 200 to 100 for safety purposes.

In addition to the rigorous protocol imposed by the Dutch health authority, RIVM, De Hoop's professionals were protected by sanitary procedures developed by the shipyard itself: they underwent daily temperature checks; enhanced cleaning procedures were established in the living quarters, the crew mess, and throughout Silver Origin; and strict social distancing measures were implemented, including a 1.5m separation rule and a one-way system throughout the ship.

As a result, contact circles were reduced, meetings were cancelled, and fewer people were allowed in each area of the ship. Video calls replaced face-to-face conversations, as flights were cancelled and contractors could no longer reach the yard. Necessary supplies were cut off: Carpeting, loose furniture and the onboard art collection were delayed in arriving, while the closure of Italy disrupted the installation of the ship's windows and galley. The stringent lockdown threatened the project's progress.

Small hurdles became giant obstacles, but still the team persevered and as the world around it came to a stop, De Hoop shipyard pushed on. The shipyard fundamentally changed the way it operated to continue the project. None of the employees caught the virus and the team maintained an unwaveringly strong spirit as Silver Origin took its magnificent shape, symbolising the commitment and resilience of the global cruise industry.

While shallow waters on the Waal River delayed Silver Origin's float out from November to December 30, 2019, the months of January and February brought heavy rain to Western Europe in 2020, leading to unusually high water levels. This prevented Silver Origin and Barge Rossini from passing beneath the 12 bridges that separate De Hoop shipyard from the sea. Only on March 26 was a safe passage to Rotterdam accessible—more than a month later than originally planned. This left just four weeks between arrival in Rotterdam and the sea trial.

Held from April 27th–29th off the coast of Goeree-Overflakkee, Silver Origin's sea trials were a great success, offering the Captain the chance to put the ship through its paces and enabling the shipyard to demonstrate proper operation of the machinery systems.

Necessitated by the travel ban, which prevented sub-contractors from reaching the ship, Silver Origin's sea trials included a historic world-first: during the dynamic positioning acceptance test—which tests the ship's ability to remain within 10cm of a fixed point without dropping anchor—the ship's dynamic positioning system was remotely tuned and calibrated by a third party in St. Petersburg, Russia—over 1,800km away. A fast internet connection was set up on board to enable near-instant communication between both parties and, using a headset and a camera, an operative from St. Petersburg completed manoeuvring tests. The ship's Captain, meanwhile, acted as his lookout from on board.

"This was the first time such an operation has been completed remotely during a sea trial," says Fre Drenth, the Director of De Hoop Shipyard. "The tuning was successful and took no longer than usual. It demonstrates that it is possible to tune dynamic positioning systems remotely. It could potentially save a lot of travelling time for engineers in the future. I am enormously proud of my team for their work."

"We usually have a large team that participates in the sea trials, but this year was different because of the extraordinary situation," says Vesa Uuttu, Director of Newbuilds & Site Office NL, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Hence, a limited team participated—enough to comply with regulations. It was a proud moment to see the ship perform as it did—for all involved, especially the team at De Hoop who have worked tirelessly to complete the project in these tough circumstances."

"We are so grateful to the professionals at the De Hoop shipyard," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's President and CEO. "In the face of such adversity, their efforts were extraordinary and represent the resilience of European industry. Silver Origin looks magnificent. Our pioneering new ship represents the dawning of a new age of travel in the Galapagos Islands and we look forward to welcoming guests aboard when the time is right."

The finishing touches are now being applied to Silver Origin, ahead of the ship's delivery in the coming weeks. And the De Hoop team is still finding innovative ways to progress, in spite of the challenging circumstances. Currently docked in Pernis in the Netherlands, Silver Origin will set sail for the Galapagos Islands after being delivered to Silversea Cruises. 45 members of De Hoop's workforce remain on Barge Rossini, and the shipyard intends on maintaining their strict new sanitary protocols for the long-term.

Silversea Cruises is using this time of pause, as well as the information that has become available, to improve its already exceptional sanitary standards further still, with the health and safety of guests and crew as the top priority. The cruise line is currently working on enhanced sanitary protocols across its fleet to ensure that all necessary precautions are in place to resume safe and healthy cruising when the time is right.

Royal Caribbean Group Provides Business Update And Reports On First Quarter 2020
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today commented on the business in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and reported on the first quarter of 2020.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented global response to contain the spread of the disease. As part of the global containment effort, Royal Caribbean said that it previously announced a voluntary suspension of its global cruise operation.

"Responding to the dramatic change in business conditions caused by COVID-19 has required focus, dedication, ingenuity and improvisation from all our people, and their efforts have been nonstop," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO. "We understand that when our ships return to service, they will be sailing in a changed world. How well we anticipate and solve for this new environment will play a critical role in keeping our guests and crew safe and healthy, as well as position our business and that of our travel agent partners to return to growth."

As Royal Caribbean finishes repatriating crew members to their home countries, the Company's future focus now turns to four key principles:

• Ensuring the safety of guests and crew

• Proactively enhancing liquidity

• Protecting the Company's brands, and

• Defining and preparing for a "new normal."

Royal Caribbean said that it has engaged the services of distinguished external experts in relevant fields, including public health, epidemiology, design and sanitation, to bring additional expertise to its internal teams that are envisioning Royal Caribbean's new standards and procedures for its return to service strategy.

Update on Bookings

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Royal Caribbean said that it started the year in a strong booked position and at higher prices on a prior year comparable basis. Given the impact of COVID-19, booking volumes for the remainder of 2020 are meaningfully lower than the same time last year at prices that are down low-single digits. Although still early in the booking cycle, the booked position for 2021 is within historical ranges when compared to same time last year with 2021 prices up mid-single digits compared to 2020.

Royal Caribbean said that it has implemented various programs in order to best serve its booked guests providing the choice of future cruise credits in lieu of providing cash refunds for both cancelled sailings and future bookings. As of April 30, 2020, approximately 45% of the guests booked on cancelled sailings have requested cash refunds. Additionally, as of March 31, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it had $2.4 billion in customer deposits. Royal Caribbean said that it also continues to take future bookings for 2020, 2021 and 2022, and receive new customer deposits and final payments on these bookings.

Update on Liquidity Actions and Ongoing Uses of Cash

Since the last earnings call, and given the challenges posed by the suspension of its global cruise operation, Royal Caribbean said that it has taken significant actions to enhance its liquidity, preserve cash and secure additional financing. These actions include reducing operating expenses; reducing or deferring capital spend; and increasing its available cash position through various financing sources. Among these efforts, Royal Caribbean said that it highlighted an approximate $4.0 billion increase in additional financing through a secured bond issuance and increased revolver capacity; a $3.0 billion reduction in its 2020 capital expenditures, a $0.8 billion 12-month debt amortization holiday from certain export-credit backed facilities, and a substantial reduction in its operating expenses due to the fleet layup and significant actions to meaningfully decrease Royal Caribbean's sales, marketing and administrative expenses.

"We have taken swift and substantial actions to bolster our financial position by significantly reducing our operating and capital spend and leveraging our strong balance sheet to raise additional capital," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO.

Royal Caribbean said that it estimates its cash burn to be, on average, in the range of approximately $250 million to $275 million per month during a prolonged suspension of operations. This range includes ongoing ship operating expenses, administrative expenses, debt service expense, hedging costs, expected necessary capital expenditures (net of committed financings in the case of newbuilds) and excludes cash refunds of customer deposits as well as cash inflows from new and existing bookings. Royal Caribbean said that it is considering ways to further reduce the average monthly requirement under a further prolonged out-of-service scenario and during start-up of operations.

Liquidity and Financing Arrangements

As of April 30, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it had liquidity of approximately $2.3 billion all in the form of cash and cash equivalents. On May 19, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it completed its $3.3 billion senior secured notes offering, improving Royal Caribbean's liquidity position by approximately $1.0 billion.

Royal Caribbean said that it noted that as of May 19, 2020, the expected debt maturities for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, are $0.4 billion and $0.9 billion, respectively.

Capital Expenditures

Since the last earnings call, Royal Caribbean said that it has identified approximately $3.0 billion and $1.4 billion of capital expenditure reductions or deferrals in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The projected capital expenditures for the remainder of 2020 and 2021 are $0.5 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively. Royal Caribbean said that it continues to evaluate ways to further reduce these expenditures.

Royal Caribbean said that it believes COVID-19 has impacted shipyard operations and will result in delivery delays of ships previously planned for delivery in 2020 and 2021.

First Quarter 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Royal Caribbean said that it suspended its global cruise operation starting on March 13, 2020, which resulted in the cancellation of 130 sailings during the first quarter and a consequent reduction in capacity of approximately 20.0% vs. guidance and 17.0% vs. the same time last year

Royal Caribbean said that it reported US GAAP Net Loss for the first quarter of 2020 of $(1.4) billion or $(6.91) per share compared to US GAAP Net Income of $249.7 million or $1.19 per share in the prior year. The 2020 results include a non-cash asset impairment loss of $1.1 billion. Royal Caribbean said that it reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(310.4) million or $(1.48) per share compared to Adjusted Net Income of $275.8 million or $1.31 per share in the prior year. The Net Loss for the quarter is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business.

2020 Outlook

On March 10, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it withdrew its first quarter and full-year 2020 guidance. The magnitude, duration and speed of COVID-19 remains uncertain. As a consequence, Royal Caribbean said that it cannot estimate the impact of COVID-19 on its business, financial condition or near or longer-term financial or operational results with reasonable certainty. Royal Caribbean said that it expects to incur a net loss on both a US GAAP and adjusted basis for its second quarter and the 2020 fiscal year; the extent of which will depend on the timing and extent of our return to service.

Interest expense for the remainder of the year (April 1, 2020 through December 31,2020) will be in the range of $590 million to $610 million.

As of March 31, 2020, Royal Caribbean said that it had hedged approximately 60%, 39%, 23% and 5% of its total projected metric tons of fuel consumption for the remainder of 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. For the same four-year period, the annual average cost per metric ton of the hedge portfolio is approximately $433, $435, $514 and $580, respectively.

Norwegian Cancels All July Sailings
Norwegian Cruise Line said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is extending its operations pause through July 31, cancelling all July departures across its fleet.

In a statement the cruise line said "Your safety is our #1 priority—both on and off our ships. Due to the current global environment, we are extending the suspension of all sailings across our fleet through July 31, 2020. We are thinking of each and every one of you, and together we will return to our favorite place — the ocean, stronger than ever."

Guests will receive a future cruise credit of 125% to 150% for cruises that were set to leave between March 18 and July 31. The credit can be applied to any Norwegian sailing through the end of 2022,

The company also announced that is is offering a 20% discount on any cruises booked by May 31, 2020, using a Future Cruise Credit.

Viking Cruises Ltd Announces Pricing of Private Offering of $675 Million of Senior Secured Notes
Viking Cruises Ltd ("Viking") today announced that it has priced its private offering of $675 million aggregate principal amount of 13.000% Senior Secured Notes due 2025 (the "Notes"). The offering of the Notes is expected to close on May 15, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.

Viking intends to use the net proceeds from the Notes, after funding the repayment of $74 million of existing debt and accrued interest on certain river vessels, for general corporate purposes.

The Notes are being offered only to persons reasonably believed to be "qualified institutional buyers" as defined in Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and to certain non-U.S. persons outside the United States under Regulation S under the Securities Act. The Notes have not been, and will not be, registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold without registration unless pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and all applicable state laws. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the Notes, nor does it constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale is unlawful.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.72 + 6.28%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 43.70 + 14.79%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.57 + 14.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 12.88 + 9.80%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ship is widely acknowledged to be the first vessel designed solely for cruising? What year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the cruise ship that caught fire during a Christmas cruise in 1963 and sank six days later?

Answer - It was the Lakonia from the Greek Line. The ship was purchased from the Nederland Line as Johan van Oldenbarnevelt
courtesy of Hans-Peter Lemcke-Braselmann


Cruise News - May 11, 2020

Royal Caribbean Group Provides Business Update
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today provided a business update and the Company's response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"These are unprecedented times for all of us. Travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders are important to slowing the spread of the virus, but they have severely impacted our operations," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO. "We are taking decisive actions to prioritize the safety of our guests and crew while protecting our fleet and bolstering liquidity."

COVID-19 Related Suspension

The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented global response to contain the spread of the disease. These global efforts have resulted in travel restrictions and created significant uncertainty regarding worldwide port closures and availability. As part of the global containment effort, the Company previously announced a voluntary suspension of its global cruise operations from March 13 through at least June 11, 2020. Continued disruptions to travel and port operations in various regions may result in further suspensions.

"Our top priority is to ensure the safety of our guests and crew during the suspension period and when we resume operations," said Mr. Fain. "The Company's fleet is now either in port or at anchor and we have developed strict protocols to protect our crew that is still onboard our ships."

The Company has been developing a comprehensive and multi-faceted program to address the unique public health challenges posed by COVID-19. This includes, among other things, enhanced screening, upgraded cleaning and disinfection protocols and plans for social distancing. The Company will continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, global public health authorities and national and local governments to enhance measures to protect the health, safety and security of guests, crew and the communities visited when we are out of service and once operations resume.

Update on Bookings

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Company started the year in a strong booked position and at higher prices on a prior year comparable basis. Given the impact of COVID-19, booking volumes for the remainder of 2020 are meaningfully lower than the same time last year at prices that are down low-single digits. Due to the suspension in sailings, booking trends reflect elevated cancellations for 2020 and more typical levels for 2021 and beyond. Although still early in the booking cycle, the booked position for 2021 is within historical ranges when compared to same time last year with 2021 prices up mid-single digits compared to 2020.

The Company has instituted several programs in order to best serve its guests: for cancelled cruises, guests are offered the choice of future cruise credits valued at 125% of the initial cruise fare paid in lieu of providing cash refunds. As of April 30, 2020, approximately 45% of the guests have requested cash refunds. For non-cancelled cruises, the Company has implemented a "Cruise with Confidence" policy.

As of March 31, 2020, the Company had $2.4 billion in customer deposits. This includes approximately $0.8 billion of future cruise credits related to previously announced voyage cancellations through June 11, 2020.

The Company also continues to take future bookings for 2020, 2021 and 2022, and receive new customer deposits and final payments on these bookings.

Update on Recent Liquidity Actions and Ongoing Uses of Cash

"Since late January, we have undertaken several proactive measures to mitigate the financial and operational impacts of COVID-19." said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "Our focus is on bolstering liquidity through significant cost cutting, capital spend reductions, and other cash conservation measures. In addition, the Company is considering additional financing sources. We continue to evaluate all options available to us to further enhance liquidity."

As of April 30, 2020, the Company had liquidity of approximately $2.3 billion all in the form of cash and cash equivalents. On May 4, 2020 Carnival said that it increased the 364-day senior secured credit facility and drew $150 million, further enhancing the Company's liquidity profile.

Reduced Operating Expenses

The Company has taken significant actions to reduce operating expenses during the suspension of its global cruise operations:

• Significantly reduced ship operating expenses, including crew payroll, food, fuel, insurance and port charges

• The Company's ships are currently transitioning into various levels of layup with several ships in the fleet transitioning into cold layup, further reducing operating expenses

• Eliminated or significantly reduced marketing and selling expenses for the remainder of 2020

• Reduced workforce by approximately 26 percent of more than 5,000 shoreside employees in the US

• Suspended travel for shoreside employees and instituted hiring freeze across the organization. The Company estimates that its average ongoing ship operating expenses and administrative expenses is approximately $150 million to $170 million per month during the suspension of operations. The Company may seek to further reduce this average monthly requirement under a prolonged non-revenue scenario.

Reduced Capital Expenditures

Since the last earnings call, the Company has identified approximately $3.0 billion and $1.4 billion of capital expenditure reductions or deferrals in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The 2020 reductions and deferrals are comprised of:

• $1.2 billion, of non-newbuild, discretionary capital expenditures and

• $1.8 billion in reduced spend or deferred installment payments for newbuild related payments which the Company is currently finalizing.

The Company believes COVID-19 has impacted shipyard operations and will result in delivery delays of ships previously planned for delivery in 2020 and 2021.

Debt Maturities, New Financings and Other Liquidity Actions

Since the last earnings call, the Company has taken several additional actions to further improve its liquidity position and manage cash flow:

• Increased the capacity under its revolving credit facilities by $0.6 billion, and fully drew on both facilities

• Entered into a $2.35 billion 364-day senior secured credit facility with an option to extend (secured by 28 ships with a net book value of approximately $12 billion as of March 31, 2020)

• Obtained a $0.8 billion, 12-month debt amortization and financial covenant holiday from certain export-credit backed facilities

• Amended its non-export-credit backed bank facilities to incorporate a 12-month financial covenant holiday

• Agreed with its lenders that it will not pay dividends or engage in stock repurchases.

As of May 5, 2020, expected debt maturities for the remainder of 2020 and 2021 are $0.4 billion and $0.9 billion, respectively.

The Company estimates its cash burn to be, on average, in the range of approximately $250 million to $275 million per month during a suspension of operations. This range includes ongoing ship operating expenses, administrative expenses, and debt service expense, hedging costs, expected necessary capital expenditures (net of committed financings in the case of newbuilds) and excludes cash refunds of customer deposits as well as cash inflows from new and existing bookings. The Company is considering ways to further reduce the average monthly requirement under a prolonged out-of-service scenario and during start-up of operations.

The Company continues to identify and evaluate further actions to improve its liquidity. These include and are not limited to: further reductions in capital expenditures, operating expenses and administrative costs and additional financings.

On March 10, 2020, the Company withdrew its first quarter and full-year 2020 guidance. The magnitude, duration and speed of COVID-19 remains uncertain. As a consequence, we cannot estimate the impact of COVID-19 on our business, financial condition or near or longer-term financial or operational results with reasonable certainty, but we expect to incur a net loss on both a US GAAP and adjusted basis for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020 and the 2020 fiscal year; the extent of which will depend on the timing and extent of our return to service.

Seabourn Extends Pause To Global Ship Operations
Seabourn, the world's finest ultra-luxury travel experience, announced today that it will extend the voluntary pause of global operations for its five cruise ships.

The pause will apply to each of Seabourn's five ships differently with each having a different "effective through" date in either October or November. Specific details are as follows:

• Seabourn Odyssey: paused through the Europe season, with its operations pause effective through November 20.

• Seabourn Sojourn: paused through Alaska/British Columbia season, with its operations pause effective through October 13.

• Seabourn Quest: paused through the Canada/New England season, with its operations pause effective through November 6.

• Seabourn Encore: paused through the Europe season, with its operations pause effective through October 19.

• Seabourn Ovation: paused through Europe season, with its operations pause effective through November 6.

The brand had previously announced a pause in its global ship operations from March 14 – June 30, 2020, effectively cancelling all voyages scheduled to operate during that timeframe. The decision to cancel additional voyages is a proactive response to the unpredictable circumstances continuing to evolve from the global response to the COVID-19 situation.

"We know travelers, as well as our past guests, are thinking about and looking forward to traveling based on a lot of information we are seeing lately. With many cruise ports still closed, destinations opening in phases, and airline capacity limited, a continuation of our pause gives us additional time to prepare for our eventual return to service," said Rick Meadows, president of Seabourn. "When we resume and social gathering is acceptable once again, we will do so with the health and safety of our guests, crew and the people in each of the destinations we visit as a priority, just as it has been throughout our history."

Seabourn will be communicating changes for voyages scheduled to depart in the extension window with all booked guests and their travel advisors.

Guests Automatically Receive Future Cruise Credit

Guests with impacted cruises will automatically be cancelled, and all guests will receive a Future Cruise Credit as follows:

• Paid in Full: those guests paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Seabourn.

• Under Deposit: those guests with bookings under deposit will receive a Future Cruise Credit valued at 125% of the deposit amount paid, plus an onboard credit of $300 per suite.

The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. The amount of non-cruise fare purchases may be transferred to a new booking to be used in any manner selected by the guest. Alternatively, guests may request a refund of the monies paid to Seabourn, which will be reimbursed to the original form of payment.

Guests and their travel advisors will be sent specific details applicable to their booking. Seabourn asks guests and travel advisors to use the online resources available on its website first rather than calling the Reservation Call Center for information about the cancellations due to the possibility of high call volumes and the potential of long on-hold wait times.

Holland America Line Extends its Pause of Cruise Operations
With travel restrictions continuing for the near future due to global health concerns, Holland America Line has decided to extend its pause of global cruise operations and cancel all Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England cruises for 2020.

In addition, Amsterdam will not operate the 79-day Grand Africa Voyage from Boston, Massachusetts, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that was scheduled to depart on Oct. 3, 2020. Holland America Line had previously cancelled all 2020 Land+Sea Journeys, which combine an Alaska cruise with an overland tour to Denali and the Yukon.

"As we continue to navigate through these unprecedented and challenging times, the best decision right now is to extend our pause in cruise operations into the fall," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "While this is very disappointing and we never want to let our guests down, as soon as it makes sense we will be back cruising again, giving our guests the memorable travel experiences they continue to dream about."

All guests, or their travel advisors, will automatically be notified if their cruise departure has been cancelled.

Guests Automatically Receive Future Cruise Credit

Those with impacted cruises will automatically be cancelled, and all guests will receive a Future Cruise Credit per person as follows:

• Paid in Full: Those who had paid in full will receive 125% Future Cruise Credit of the base cruise fare paid to Holland America Line.

• Not Paid in Full: Those with bookings not paid in full will receive a Future Cruise Credit of double the amount of the deposit paid for the cruise. The minimum Future Cruise Credit is $100 and the maximum will be an amount up to the base cruise fare paid.

The Future Cruise Credit is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be used to book sailings departing through Dec. 31, 2022. All other funds paid to Holland America Line may be transferred to a new booking or will automatically be refunded via the method of payment used to purchase the services.

Full Refund Option Also Available

Guests who prefer a 100% refund of monies paid to Holland America Line can visit the Cancellation Preferences form to indicate this preference no later than June 15, 2020. This includes Holland?America?Line's Flight Ease air, Cancellation Protection Plan, Holland?America?Line pre- or post-cruise hotel packages or transfers, prepaid shore excursions and amenities purchased through Holland?America?Line, and taxes, fees and port?expenses.

Due to the unprecedented volume of bookings impacted by cancellations, Holland America Line asks for guests' patience and understanding regarding the time needed to work through processing refunds and FCCs.

The above options are not applicable to guests booked on a charter sailing. Other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may?apply if the cruise was not booked through Holland America Line. See the terms and conditions at the Cancellation Preferences form for all details.

Recognizing the vital role travel advisors play in the success of the cruise industry, Holland America Line will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the Future Cruise Credits when their clients rebook.

Holland America Line will continue to monitor the global health situation and evaluate the best time to begin sailing again. Additional details will be shared as they are available.

Rick Meadows Retires From Seabourn And Carnival Corporation After 35 Years Of Service
Today the cruise line announced that after 35 dedicated years with Carnival Corporation, Richard Meadows will be retiring from Seabourn at the end of May. Seabourn, the ultra-luxury brand in the Carnival Corporation family of brands, recently announced it was extending its pause in global cruise operations until mid-October through late November, depending on the ship.

Meadows is currently president of Seabourn and in this role has overall executive responsibility, leading all business and global operations for the award-winning luxury cruise line. He has held this position since 2011, when Carnival said that it moved its headquarters to Seattle from Miami.

"I've had so many amazing opportunities throughout my career, passionately leading a number of global cruise brands as well as working with so many talented team members, travel advisors and other stakeholders around the world," said Meadows. "It has been a true honor to help craft those lifetime memories and special moments for our guests, through the profound power of travel, which brings people and cultures together. I look forward to the day when we can once again welcome our guests back on board."

Stein Kruse, Group CEO of the Holland America Group and Carnival UK into which Meadows reports added, "Rick's contributions to the cruise industry and his leadership in elevating Seabourn to the ultimate ultra-luxury cruise experience, bar none -- are legendary. He will forever be part of our Carnival Corporation story and he has made us all better through his professionalism, authenticity and leadership."

Between 2014 and 2016, Meadows also served in an additional leadership role as president of Cunard – North America, and assumed operating responsibility for the iconic Cunard brand throughout the North American continent.

Prior to his appointment at Cunard, Meadows was in a dual-capacity role, serving as both president of Seabourn and executive vice president of Marketing, Sales and Guest Programs for Holland America Line, where he had global revenue responsibility.

Among his previous roles, he was senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for Seabourn; vice president of Corporate Marketing at Carnival Corporation; and vice president of Sales and Marketing with Windstar Cruises, a former subsidiary of Holland America Line. He also served as director of sales for Carnival Cruise Lines, beginning his career with Carnival Corporation in 1985.

Orlando Ashford to Leave Holland America Line After More than Five Years
Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford announced that he will be leaving Carnival said that it at the end of May. Ashford, who heads the premium cruise line within the Carnival Corporation family of brands, has been at Carnival said that it for nearly five and half years and led a rejuvenation of the brand through an emphasis on enhanced onboard entertainment, live music and culinary experiences.

Since November 2014, Ashford has served as president of Holland America Line, leading the award-winning cruise line's brand and business, including its fleet of 14 premium vessels which carry more than 900,000 guests annually to all seven continents. He oversaw Holland America Line's sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, hotel operations and strategy. Recently he has guided Carnival said that it through an unprecedented pause in global cruise operations that have been extended through the line's planned 2020 Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England sailing seasons.

"Orlando has made a substantial contribution to Holland America Line during his tenure, bringing a renewed energy to the premium cruise line that was recognized with many awards and accolades," said Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. "His unique background as an innovator and global leader in human resources was highly respected in our organization and his dynamism will be greatly missed."

"It has been an honor and a privilege to lead the evolution of the Holland America Line brand for more than five years," said Ashford. "I can't say enough about the talent and teamwork both shoreside and on board the ships that has driven our many successes over the years.

"Today, a global pandemic has impacted our industry in ways that are completely unprecedented," added Ashford. "However, I believe it is human nature to travel and explore new places and cultures and meet new people. I have no doubt that Holland America Line will thrive again soon, and its guests will be ready when cruise operations resume. I look forward to being one of the first to sail."

Prior to joining Holland America Line, Ashford was president of the Talent Business Segment for Mercer, the global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Previous to Mercer he served as senior vice president, chief human resources and communications officer of Mercer's parent company, Marsh & McLennan Companies. Ashford also has held several other leadership roles earlier in his career with organizations such as Coca-Cola, Motorola, Ameritech and Andersen Consulting.

Norwegian Cruise Line Opens for Sale a Year's Worth of Aspirational Voyages
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel with a 53-year history of breaking boundaries, today announced that is has opened more than a year of wish-list worthy sailings for 2021 through 2023, with voyages to over 20 new destinations across all seven continents.

Among the notable itineraries are:

• Norwegian Star’s first voyage to Antarctica beginning in 2021 when she sails from Buenos Aires, Argentina for a season of 14-day Extraordinary Journeys, visiting five ports of call across Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and the Falkland Islands, including a majestic sailing by Deception Island and Elephant Island/Cape Lookout.

• Norwegian Star’s March 2022 South America sailing when she will become the first in the fleet to visit Fortaleza and Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, during a 15-day itinerary departing from Rio de Janeiro.

• Norwegian Star’s July 14 and July 25, 2022 Northern European sailings, when she will make the brand’s debut in Greenland with calls to Nuuk, Qaqortoq and Nanortalik during two back-to-back 10-and -11-day sailings from Reykjavik, Iceland.

• Norwegian Jade’s 12-day Extraordinary Journey sailings from December 2021 through January 2022, when she will make Norwegian Cruise Line history as the first ship to offer roundtrip cruises from Cape Town, South Africa. The voyages will include visits to Luderitz and Walvis Bay, Namibia; Durban, and will feature overnight calls in Cape Town and Richard’s Bay, South Africa.

• Norwegian Sun’s November 2021 sailing, when she will make her Asia debut and will become the first in the fleet to visit the exotic destinations of Nagoya, Beppu and Himeji Japan; Manila and Coron, Philippines; Kota Kinabalu and Melaka, Malaysia; Muara, Brunei and Kampot, Cambodia.

“The just-announced itineraries for 2021 through 2023 are designed to provide guests with vacations of a lifetime,” said Harry Sommer, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief executive officer. “At this moment, we are in our respective corners of the world destination daydreaming. We wanted to use this time to provide our loyal guests with the best-of-the-best itineraries. We’ll set sail to more than 20 new incredible destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and South Africa while also sailing to the over 300 destinations our guests have come to love. This time around, we’re giving our guests more time to plan their long-awaited vacations as well as additional extraordinary ports-of-call. We can’t wait for them to experience these vacations of a lifetime.”

Among the new destinations featured in the itineraries are:
· Elephant Island, Antarctica (No disembarkation) – January 2021 (Norwegian Star)
· Deception Island, Antarctica (No disembarkation) – January 2021 (Norwegian Star)
· Nagoya, Japan – November 2021 (Norwegian Sun)v · Beppu, Japan – November 2021 (Norwegian Sun)
· Durban, South Africa – December 2021 (Norwegian Jade)
· Luderitz, Namibia – December 2021 (Norwegian Jade)
· Walvis Bay, Namibia – December 2021 (Norwegian Jade)
· Timaru, New Zealand – December 2021 (Norwegian Spirit)
· Manila, Philippines – February 2022 (Norwegian Sun)
· Coron, Philippines – February 2022 (Norwegian Sun)
· Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia – February 2022 (Norwegian Sun
· Muara, Brunei Darussalam – February 2022 (Norwegian Sun)
· Melaka, Malaysia – February 2022 (Norwegian Sun)
· Miyakojima (Okinawa), Japan – March 2022 (Norwegian Sun)
· Himeji, Japan – March 2022 (Norwegian Sun)
· Fortaleza, Brazil – March 2022 (Norwegian Star)
· Salvador de Bahia, Brazil – March 2022 (Norwegian Star)
· Nuuk, Greenland – July 2022 (Norwegian Star)
· Qaqortoq, Greenland – July 2022 (Norwegian Star)
· Nanortalik, Greenland – July 2022 (Norwegian Star)
· Yangon, Myanmar – November 2022 (Norwegian Spirit)
· Maputo, Mozambique – January 2023 (Norwegian Jade)
· Kampot, Cambodia – January 2023 (Norwegian Sun)

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.85 - 3.42%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 38.07 - 7.98%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.50 - 3.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 11.73 - 18.77%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the cruise ship that caught fire during a Christmas cruise in 1963 and sank six days later?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II?

Answer - The first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II was the Stockholm.
courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe - Vancouver


Cruise News - May 4, 2020

Carnival Announces Additional Cruise Cancellations And Potential Date For Resumption Of Service

Carnival Cruise Line advised guests and travel agents today that it has cancelled additional cruises through August 31 with the exception of eight ships from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston that could potentially operate if it was determined that cruising can resume.

The key elements of this plan include:

• All North American cruises from June 27 to July 31 will be cancelled.

• Beginning August 1, we may operate cruises on the following ships:
   - Galveston: Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista
   - Miami: Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic and Carnival Sensation
   - Port Canaveral: Carnival Breeze and Carnival Elation.

• Other than the above referenced service from Galveston, Miami, and Port Canaveral, all other North American and Australian homeport cruises will be cancelled through August 31.

• All Carnival Spirit Alaskan cruises from Seattle will be cancelled, as well as the Carnival Spirit Vancouver-Honolulu cruise on September 25 and the Honolulu-Brisbane transpacific cruise on October 6.

• All Carnival Splendor cruises in Australia from June 19 to August 31 will be cancelled.

Carnival reiterated that any resumption of cruise operations – whenever that may be – is fully dependent on company's continued efforts in cooperation with federal, state, local and international government officials. Carnival said that it is committed to supporting all public health efforts to manage the COVID-19 situation. They said that they are taking a measured approach, focusing on the potential for sailing from a select number of homeports where they have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of their guests.

Impacted guests and their travel advisors are being notified by email, including options for a combined future cruise credit (FCC) and onboard credit (OBC) package, or a full refund. Booked guests can make their selection online, alleviating the need to contact Carnival’s customer service center, which is still operating in a work-from-home status due to locally-imposed office closures in South Florida.

Carnival said that it will use this additional time to continue to engage experts, government officials and stakeholders on additional protocols and procedures to protect the health and safety of its guests, crew and the communities they serve. In a statement Carnival said that it appreciates the understanding and support of its guests and travel agent partners and looks forward to welcoming them on board as the environment for travel and tourism improves.

Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Global Ship Operations For Remaining 2020 Summer Season

Due to reduced air flight availability, the closure of cruise ports in regions around the world and other factors impacting international travel, Princess Cruises is extending its pause of global ship operations and has therefore made the extremely difficult decision to cancel select cruises through the end of the 2020 summer season, including the following cruises and associated cruisetours:

• All remaining Alaska cruises on Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess

• All remaining Europe and Transatlantic cruises on Enchanted Princess, Regal Princess, Sky Princess, Crown Princess and Island Princess

• Summer Caribbean cruises and all Canada & New England cruises on Caribbean Princess and Sky Princess

• Summer to Fall cruises departing from Japan on Diamond Princess

• Australia-based cruises on Sapphire Princess and Sea Princess through August

• July cruises sailing from Taiwan on Majestic Princess

• Fall cruises sailing to Hawaii and French Polynesia on Pacific Princess through November

"As the world is still preparing to resume travel, it is with much disappointment that we announce an extension of our pause of global ship operations and the cancellation of cruise vacations for our loyal guests," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "Among other disruptions, airlines have limited their flight availability and many popular cruise ports are closed. It saddens us to think about the impact on the livelihood of our teammates, business partners and the communities we visit."

Guests currently booked on these canceled voyages, who have paid Princess in full, will have the option to receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional bonus FCC equal to 25% of the cruise fare.

For guests who have not paid in full, Princess will Double the Deposit, providing a refundable FCC for the money currently on deposit plus a matching bonus FCC that can be used on any voyage through May 1, 2022. The matching bonus FCC will not exceed the base cruise fare amount of the currently booked cruise and will have a minimum value of $100 per person.

In order to receive the above FCC no action is required.

Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by June 15, 2020, or they will receive the refundable Future Cruise Credit option.

Royal Caribbean Extending its “Cruise with Confidence” Cancellation Policy Through April 2022
To provide peace of mind in vacation planning, Royal Caribbean Group is extending its “Cruise with Confidence” cancellation policy to sailings through April 2022.

For new and existing bookings created by August 1, 2020, guests have the flexibility to cancel their cruise up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive a full credit of the cruise fare for a future cruise through April 2022. The cruise company has also enhanced Cruise with Confidence with new rebooking options. The updates now available to travelers and their travel advisors include:

• “Best Price Guarantee”: Guests can choose to change the price and promotional offer on their reservation up to 48 hours before their cruise.

• “Lift and Shift”: For ease and as close as 48 hours prior to sailing, travelers have the option to simply “lift and shift” their cruise to the same itinerary departing on a future date. The original price and promotional offer on the reservation will be protected, along with the length of the cruise and stateroom category.

“Guests are reacting positively to our Cruise with Confidence policy,” says RCL chairman and CEO Richard Fain, “because it enables them to make informed decisions and to better manage complicated travel plans during this unprecedented time of uncertainty.”

Cruise with Confidence applies to both existing cruise bookings and those made by August 1, 2020. In addition to easing concerns of booked guests, Fain says the policy enhances consumer confidence to schedule new bookings, knowing last-minute travel adjustments are allowed.

“We want our guests to feel they can safely keep their existing cruise bookings or schedule new sailings,” says Fain, “because this policy gives them more freedom and flexibility.”

The policy applies to all cruises with sailing dates on or before April 2022 and across Carnival said that it ’s global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara. For individual brand policy details, including information on Silversea’s policy, please visit the cruise lines’ websites

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.34 + 10.48%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 41.37 + 4.81%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.52 + 5.05%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 14.44 + 26.22%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II?

Answer - The first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II was the Stockholm.
courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe - Vancouver


Cruise News - April 27, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line Utilizing Its Ships To Return Crew Members Home
Eighteen Carnival Cruise Line ships will rendezvous in The Bahamas over the next several days as the final plans are put in place to sail nine of the ships to repatriate more than 10,000 healthy crew members who remain on board due to restrictions limiting air travel to Asia, Africa, Europe, India and Latin America.

The ships have been at various U.S. homeports provisioning supplies and bunkering fuel for their journeys. Certain crew will join ships using water shuttles off the coast of The Bahamas. Once completed, nine ships will sail to their destinations with crew members from North American-based ships on board. The remaining nine ships will spend most of their time in anchorage positions in The Bahamas or Panama and eventually all ships will reduce their crew numbers to safe operational manning levels.

“The safety and well-being of our team members continues to be a top priority. Given the pause in our operations, we are committed to getting our crew members safely home to their families. We sincerely thank them for their hard work, patience and understanding during this process. We would also like to thank the government of The Bahamas for their support of this operation, as well as the CDC, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and local port agencies,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Crew members who will be returning home have undergone a health check and cleared fit for travel by Carnival’s medical team. The company has been working closely with immigration officials in arriving countries on an efficient debarkation process. All crew members have their temperature taken daily and will do so again during the debarkation process, and follow enhanced operational protocols to ensure the health and safety of the crew.

Prior to Carnival’s pause in operations on March 13, its fleet of 27 ships had nearly 29,000 crew members on board. Since that time, Carnival has already repatriated more than 10,000 crew via flights and another 10,000 will be traveling on the nine voyages leaving this week. Approximately 6,000 additional crew will be repatriated by air charters or three ships that already departed from Australia and Long Beach. By the time all these movements are completed, the Carnival fleet will be down to approximately 3,000 crew members identified for safe operational manning, plus several hundred that will be repatriated as quickly as possible.

Cunard Extends Pause to Voyages
Cunard announced today that, as a result of the continued impact of Covid-19, it will be extending the pause to voyages.

For its ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, Cunard is cancelling all sailings that were due to depart up to and including July 31, 2020. For Queen Elizabeth, the cruise line has taken the practical decision to cancel the entire Alaska season and all departures up to and including September 8, 2020.

"These are extraordinary times and this global outbreak continues to challenge Cunard and the travel industry as a whole," said Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard. "We would love nothing more than to bring our fleet back in to service, and give our guests the holidays they deserve and long for, but with the lockdowns and travel restrictions in place around the world, this is simply not possible at this time."

"We have been sailing for 180 years and we look forward to many more," he added. "We will get through these tough times together and look forward to welcoming our guests back on board again when the time is right."

Cunard will be communicating with all guests, and their travel advisors, who are booked on affected voyages.

As Cunard has done previously during this pause period, guests who are booked on cancelled voyages will automatically be given a 125% Future Cruise Credit or have an option of a full refund. This may be used on any sailing before the end of March 2022, and the booking must be made by December 31, 2021. Guests may now also use their Future Cruise Credit for a second cabin to bring friends or family or to upgrade an existing booking. Full details of the changes to operations and options available to guests due to travel on cancelled voyages, can be found at www.cunard.com.

Disney Cruise Line Extends Suspension of Operations
Disney Cruise Line has cancelled all departures through June 18, 2020, Disney Magic sailings through July 2, 2020 and Vancouver sailings through the end of June 2020, according to a statement.

Disney Cruise Line has suspended:

• All new departures of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy through Thursday, June 18, 2020.

• All Disney Magic sailings through Thursday, July 2, 2020.

• All departures on the Disney Wonder through June, given that neither the Port of Vancouver nor an alternate homeport is available.

Guests currently booked on affected sailings will be offered the choice of a cruise credit to be used for a future sailing within 15 months of their original sail date or a full refund. These Guests and travel agents will receive an email from Disney Cruise Line outlining details and next steps.

Guests who booked their reservation through a travel agent should contact them directly with any questions.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Announces Extension of Suspension of Voyages
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings today announced an extension of its previously announced suspension of global cruise voyages to include voyages embarking between May 11 and June 30, 2020 for its three cruise brands: Norwegian, Oceania and Regent.

“We are committed to taking all appropriate actions to combat the spread of COVID-19 and as such, have extended our global voyage suspension through June 30. We continue to work closely and in partnership with the U.S. CDC, global public health authorities and local, state and federal governments to build upon our already rigorous health and safety protocols to ensure that our brands are ready to safely resume operations with these new protocols in place,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “Our teams are working around the clock to do what is right by our loyal guests and valued travel partners and we greatly appreciate their understanding as we continue to adapt to the ever-evolving global health environment.”

Guests who are currently booked on voyages with embarkation dates between May 11 and June 30, 2020 on Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises or Regent Seven Seas Cruises are asked to contact their travel agent or the cruise line for more information.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 12.98 + 6.22%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 39.47 + 9.67%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.495 - 2.94%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 11.44 - 0.44%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What is the largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built?

Answer - The Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2 is the largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built. Built as a steam ship she entered service in 1969 and was converted to diesel-electric power in 1986-1987. QE2 is the longest serving ocean liner for Cunard.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA.


Cruise News - April 20, 2020

Viking Officially Opens Reservations For New Mississippi River Cruises
Viking today opened reservations to the public for its new Mississippi River cruises, which will launch in 2022. The company's first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul. Viking's arrival will bring modern river cruising to the Mississippi and will represent a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities along the river. Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking's new Mississippi River cruises comprise seven U.S. states: Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans and St. Francisville); Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg); Tennessee (Memphis); Missouri (Hannibal, St. Louis); Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Davenport); Wisconsin (La Crosse); and Minnesota (Red Wing, St. Paul). As part of an exclusive preview promised by Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen, past Viking guests have been able to book the new Mississippi River cruises since March 30, 2020 and some departure dates are already nearly or completely sold out. As of today, all inaugural sailings of Viking Mississippi's 2022-2023 season are now available to the public for booking.

"At a time where many of us are at home, looking for inspiration to travel in the future, I am pleased to introduce a new, modern way to explore this great river. We invented the concept of modern river cruising when we got our start 23 years ago—first on the rivers of Russia and then in Europe. Since then, many people have come to appreciate the unique exploration that comes with river cruising—but currently there are very few options to do so on American rivers," said Hagen when the new Mississippi River cruises were announced on March 30, 2020. "Our guests are curious travelers, and they continue to tell us that the Mississippi is the river they most want to sail with us. The Mississippi River is closer to home for many of our guests, and no other waterway has played such an important role in America's history, commerce and culture."

The highly anticipated announcement of Viking's arrival on the Mississippi is the most recent milestone as Carnival said that it continues to expand its fleet and destination-focused travel offerings. In January 2020 Carnival said that it unveiled Viking Expeditions, with the first 378-guest purpose-built expedition ship, Viking Octantis, launching in January 2022 on voyages to Antarctica and then North America's Great Lakes. A second expedition vessel, Viking Polaris, will debut in August 2022, sailing to Antarctica and the Arctic.

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking's award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship's cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the largest and most modern cruise ship in the region. Highlights of the new ship include:

• All Outside Staterooms: Guests can choose from an unparalleled seven spacious stateroom categories that range from 268 sq. ft to 1,024 sq. ft: Veranda, French Balcony, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Jr. Suite, Terrace Suite and Explorer Suite. All staterooms feature a private veranda or French balcony, king-size bed with luxury linens, large flat-screen interactive TV, mini-bar, large glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and 24-hour room service.

• Viking Suites: Viking Mississippi will have some of the largest true suites on the river, with every suite featuring two rooms and a full-size veranda off the spacious sitting room. Guests in Penthouse Jr. Suites (400 sq. ft.) and Terrace Suites (425 sq. ft.) receive early stateroom access; expanded double-sink bathroom; mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water and snacks replenished daily; welcome champagne; and laundry, pressing and shoe shine services. Guests in the expansive Explorer Suites (657 sq. ft. to 1,024 sq. ft) also receive a wraparound veranda and complimentary Silver Spirits Beverage Package.

• Explorers' Lounge & The Bow: Familiar to Viking's ocean guests as one of the most popular onboard public spaces, Viking Mississippi will also feature an Explorers' Lounge near the bow of the ship. The sun-filled, two-story Explorers' Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to The Bow, a unique outdoor seating area at the front of the ship where guests can relax and enjoy ever-changing riverside views.

• River Café: From American classics to Mamsen's Norwegian specialties, this indoor/outdoor dining venue on the top deck will offer alternative restaurant dining in a casual al fresco setting.

• Aquavit Terrace: A public space beloved by many of Viking's ocean and river guests, Viking Mississippi will also feature a revolutionary Aquavit Terrace on the top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for an

• American barbecue experience. Combined with the River Café, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the most al fresco dining options on the Mississippi.

• Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool: Similar to Viking's ocean ships, Viking Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool experience at the aft, allowing guests to take a dip while fully surrounded by their destination.

• The Living Room: Clean Scandinavian design paired with American influences, the Living Room on Deck 1 is designed for socializing, relaxing and entertainment. Nearby, the quiet corner of The Library, is a perfect place to discover a new book.

• The Restaurant: This main dining venue on Deck 1 will serve daily-changing menus featuring delicious regional cuisine and always available classics prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

• Full 360-Degree Promenade Deck: Guests can stroll the entire ship outside on Deck 1, stretching their legs while viewing scenic landscape and regional wildlife.

• Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking creating "the thinking person's cruise." A focus on cultural enrichment on board Viking Mississippi means that guests will enjoy Destination Performances that represent the most iconic music of the region—as well as Guest Lecturers that shed light on the region's art, architecture, history, culture, natural world and more. And only The Viking Way of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Privileged Access, Local Life and Working World experiences, opening doors to places otherwise difficult to visit. On Viking's Mississippi River itineraries, guests may choose to take a guided kayaking trip in the Louisiana bayou; visit a working farm in Quad Cities; or immerse themselves in Cajun culture during a Privileged Access excursion to the Rural Life Museum of Louisiana State University.

• Sustainable Features: Solar panels, LED lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize natural light and an energy-efficient hybrid propulsion system will make Viking Mississippi the most environmentally friendly passenger ship on the Mississippi River.

• Viking Inclusive Value: Every Mississippi River cruise fare includes everything guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. Cruise fares include one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi.

2022-2023 Viking Mississippi Inaugural Voyages

• America's Heartland (8 days; St. Louis to St. Paul)—From pristine farms nestled in rolling terrain to steep bluff rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This journey introduces you to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that control the flow of the heartland rivers. Hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere and the Amish and Norwegian migr